Domestic violence is a serious issue within relationships “Nearly one-third of American women report being raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former boyfriend at some point in their lives.”(Arizona Coalition against Domestic Violence, n.d). “An estimated 4.5 million physical assaults are committed against U.S. women by intimate partners annually.”(Arizona Coalition against Domestic Violence, n.d) Domestic violence is not just an issue among heterosexual couples but also among homosexual couples too. The purpose of choosing this topic on the Gay Men Domestic Violence Project is to bring the needed attention to an under researched part of relationships where domestic violence occurs. The website is shifting its focus from just gay man but to include all GLBTQ. Their mission states that, “To assist and support victims and survivors of domestic violence, focusing on the GLBTQ community, to bring about responsive public policy, and to increase access to culturally competent services” (GMDVP, n.d).
The website is clean and clear that offers an easy friendly interface that allows for straightforward access to resources and information on domestic violence. Unlike other outreach websites where the typical pictures are shown, there is not distinction of how a person is supposed to look just the needed information support, and encouragement to help them out their situation. On the website, Gay Men Domestic Violence Project (gmdvp.org), Serves as a resource for gay domestic violence victims. Founded in 1994 GMDVP fills a void in services for men in relationships with men regardless of how they identify through education, advocacy and direct services. “Since 1994 GMDVP has assisted over 3,000 clients providing someone to talk with, safety planning, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and housing advocacy, legal advocacy, information, and referrals to additional services.”(GMDVP, n.d) GMDVP is a grassroots non-profit organization that was founded by a gay male survivor of domestic violence that was turned away from other shelters, and developed into the Gay Men Domestic Violence Project.(GMDVP, n.d)
Over the past 17 years, the organization has grown to provide direct services throughout Massachusetts that consists of emergency safe home, a 24 Hour hotline, legal services, and other supportive services. These services are also available outside of Massachusetts as their 24 hour hotline is available anywhere. The project has also throughout the years provided education and outreaches on domestic violence for the GLBTQ Community and law enforcement professionals, policy advocacy, and state agencies. The literature they have formulated has aided policy makers in the legislator to include language in domestic violence mandates to include homosexual relationships. “In 2007, GMDVP expanded its scope of services to provide supportive 24 hour hotline services to Rhode Island and Connecticut”(GMDVP, n.d) The organization is continually to expand to reach the GLBTQ community and bring recognition to a growing problem within their community.
What some people may not think when they consider domestic violence situation is that they occur as often when a man is beaten by a man as a man is beaten by another man. “In LGBT relationships perpetrators often attempt highly specific forms of abuse including ‘outing’ or threatening to out a partner’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”(Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, n.d) Domestic violence is not purely just physical, it can be emotional, financial and/or sexual abuse as well. (GMDVP, n.d) What is clear realization is that this statistic for abuse women is a factor that is true for gay individuals in relationships. Domestic violence occurs in any type of relationship whether gay or straight, and comes from the position of the abuser wanting to be in control, and executing their emotions or rage on their significant others. What GMDVP brings is a driving force to tackle the issue of domestic violence in GLBTQ relationships head on, by providing support for the victims that include, education, counseling’s, refuge, and underlying support that helps to bring their focus back to center. They have information on their website that includes definitions and examples of domestic violence among victims, identifying if a person is an abuser, resources for others to help, information on how to get out of the situation, and other useful information that helps victims. Domestic Violence is a serious matter, which GMDVP and other domestic violence agencies are trying to bring a stop to it.
About the Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project. (n.d.).Gay Men Domestic Violence Project. Retrieved from http://gmdvp.org/about-us/
Domestic Violence Facts and statistics. (n.d) Arizona coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from http://www.azcadv.org/domestic-violence-info/domestic-violence-fa/facts-and-statistics/dv-fact-sheet/top