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December 21, 2005

Lesbian violence and relationships

The judge should order them into anti violence therapy before granting any dissolution. If that doesn't happen, some other hapless lesbian will get her face beat in.
First Civil-Union Couple Parting Ways
The Associated Press
Thursday, December 15, 2005
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. -- A lesbian couple who entered into the nation's first same-sex civil union are splitting up amid allegations of violent behavior. Carolyn Conrad, 35, asked a court in October to end her relationship with Kathleen Peterson, 46.

Conrad also obtained a restraining order Wednesday against her partner, saying Peterson punched a hole in the wall during an argument and threatened to harm a friend.

"All I want to say is that the civil union was a big source of pride for me, and now it's not," Peterson said.

The two had been together for five years when they were legally joined in Brattleboro minutes after Vermont's civil-union law took effect on July 1, 2000. Two years ago, the couple were offering relationship advice on the gay-rights Web site. By the end of 2004, a total of 7,549 same-sex couples had entered civil unions in Vermont, the first state to offer gay couples nearly all the rights and privileges of marriage. There have been 78 dissolutions. Bari Shamas, a member of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force, said gay relationships are prone to the same difficulties as heterosexual marriages. "There's no proof that our relationships are any better than heterosexual relationships," Shamas said.


Interesting related facts:

  • Each year, between 50,000 and 100,000 Lesbian women and as many as 500,000 Gay men are battered. Murphy, Queer Justice: Equal Protection for Victims of Same-Sex Domestic Violence, 30 Val. U. L. Rev. 335 (1995).

  • Seven states define domestic violence in a way that excludes same-sex victims; 21 states have sodomy laws that may require same-sex victims to confess to a crime in order to prove they are in a domestic relationship. Barnes, It's Just a Quarrel', American Bar Association Journal, February 1998, p. 24.

  • By 1994, there were over 1,500 shelters and safe houses for battered women. Many of these shelters routinely deny their services to victims of same-sex battering. Murphy, Queer Justice: Equal Protection for Victims of Same-Sex Domestic Violence, 30 Val. U. L. Rev. 335 (1995).

    RadicalPurple said...

    78 dissolutions out of 7549 unions is only about 1/10th of 1 percent. "Straight" marriage dissoulutions are closer to 50 percent.

    And as far as domestic violence? From the site you linked:

    90 - 95% of domestic violence victims are women.
    Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings: Violence Between Intimates (NCJ-149259), November 1994.

    As many as 95% of domestic violence perpetrators are male.
    A Report of the Violence against Women Research Strategic Planning Workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Justice in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1995.

    By the most conservative estimate, each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate.
    Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348), August 1995, p. 3.

    By other estimates, 4 million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner during an average 12-month period.
    American Psychl. Ass'n, Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 10.

    Domestic violence is awful, no matter what but gay domestic violence is no more prevalent than staright domestic violence.

    DL Foster said...

    I agree. I would be willing to work to help change laws that would not admit gay victims of domestic violence into shelters. Thats a shame. I only highlighted what I felt were interesting. Anyone else (as you did) could look at the link for the other stats.

    RadicalPurple said...

    I don't want to misunderstand what you wrote. Do you want to admit gay victims domestic violence into shelters or not? I think you are saying they get denied now, as per the last statistic, and should be allowed in.
    I agree.

    DL Foster said...

    yes, I didnt know that gay victims of domestic abuse were not allowed into shelters in some states. I think is shameful really needs to be changed quickly. If someone's life is in danger, they should be able to find shelter from it. I cant understand why that would be covered by law, and not "private" organization policies. I would be interested in know why gays are "rountinely" denied access. Although I know that many shelters are for "women and children", but at the very least a single lesbian (if battered) woman should qualify to be admitted. Additionally, I noticed this stat is from 1995, so many things could have changed by now.