Same-sex domestic violence doesn’t seem like a big problem to many gay men. Statistics are hard to come by; it’s hard to know the scope of the problem.
Just like male rape, however, men find themselves being victimized on occasion. For men there can be the additional issue that because we think it can’t happen to us, we have a hard time understanding what has happened -- or we are quick to blame ourselves.
Violence in gay relationships can be physical, sexual, emotional -- or a combination of all three. Emotional abuse is indicated by frequent put-downs, name-calling, humiliation, mind games or guilt trips. Similarly, relationships that become controlled by jealousy, isolation and obsessive control are abusive.
Abusive relationships don’t usually start out violently; if they did, it would be easier for victims to recognize and avoid them. Instead, there is a progression of abuse.
The perpetrator may be very affectionate, then become more controlling or have angry outbursts. Apologies may follow these episodes, along with promises of change. But then the occasions of hostility become more frequent. Angry words are thrown, as are objects.