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Abusive gay relationships - suggestions of resources for recovery?

(6 Posts)
oikopolis Sun 28-Oct-12 17:52:02

Calling gay MNers!

I have a dear friend who is trying to disentangle herself from an abusive relationship with a female XP. XP is textbook abuser. Started out with general shoutiness, then emotional abuse, moved into controlling/isolating behaviour, and has now ramped up into rapidly worsening physical assaults. XP is now essentially squatting in their shared flat, refusing to leave. Friend is staying at ours since she is really no longer safe in her own home. Police worse than useless, sad situation all around. (We are not in UK btw so legal advice isn't something I'm seeking here.)

My friend has had a very very hard time accepting that her XP is a textbook abuser. Much like an abused hetero woman, she tended to "see the best" and explain away the behaviour. Only when she was in the ER at 4am did she seem to really see the reality. I think it might even be harder for her because violence isn't something that's meant to happen in lesbian r/s iyswim. She's very empathetic towards this person (who I frankly think is a nasty piece of work)

Last night there was another scary episode while Friend was picking up some clothes, and now Friend seems to have turned a corner. However I really want to suggest some resources to her, to sort of buoy her up and prevent her from slipping back into denial.

I want to suggest that she read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft because I REALLY think she needs to learn about how textbook this all is... but of course it's aimed at straight women. Do you think she could still get something out of it? Would it end up being offensive towards her maybe? Would comparing her XP to an abusive male just alienate her from the idea?

Are there other books she might benefit from maybe? Have googled but not much is emerging.


Guiltypleasures001 Sun 28-Oct-12 17:56:08

Hi op

as a first thought may I suggest googling pink therapy, I follow them on Twitter as I am a trainee counsellor, also they do advertise some excellent books etc, and have a huge list of counsellors on their books.

it might be a start ..good luck to your friend

CogitoEerilySpooky Sun 28-Oct-12 18:19:30

I can't suggest much in the way of reading that is going to mirror her experience but would have thought the best thing you can do is boost your friend's confidence, take her out of herself and help her to enjoy the life she has when not with her XP. It's not true that gay relationships are non-violent and , when it comes to emotional abuse, I happen to think women are more skilled than men. In the absence of physical strength, many women resort to psychological bullying (guilt-tripping, silent treatment, accusations) to maintain control. Just read some of the threads on here about mothers' treatment of adult DCs to see that one in action

As a victim, therefore, your friend will have had her spirit systematically crushed and, in order to totally shake this person off, she needs to restore some self-esteem. This is probably the best thing you can do for her. Encouragement, support and reassurance that she is making the right decisions.

foolonthehill Sun 28-Oct-12 19:34:23

In "Why does he do that"Lundy himself makes the point that whilst he uses he and she in the place of abuser and abusee that gay relationships are just as prone and the behaviour is just the same so i would definitely suggest she reads that:

Here is a useful link although it is based in Australia.

Here is the UK government resource

These books have been recommended to me but I have not read them myself:
Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships. By Claire M. Renzetti & Charles Harvey Miley (1996)
Intimate Betrayal: Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships. By Ellyn Kaschak (2002).

but your friendship and unconditional support will be just as important

beals692 Sun 28-Oct-12 23:51:10

Broken Rainbow may have some relevant resources (although they are UK-based):

oikopolis Mon 29-Oct-12 19:33:08

Thanks all. I will direct her to the Bancroft book and keep listening when she needs to talk.

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