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Take back the Night

on . Posted in Relationships.

From : movetheclouds

When I first expressed intent to write about women assaulting women, I faced much objection from the community. I have been told point blank that this either does not exist, or does not happen often enough to be pertinent even after I shared my stories of various degrees of same sex abuse.

The few who do acknowledge this issue exists are afraid to voice it out under the flimsy excuse that the community is not ready.  To this, I say that there is never a good time to address thorny issues like these.  I am also told that it might give others the impression that lesbian relationships are dysfunctional.  Going by the same logic, are heterosexual pairings not equally screwed up, given the amount of media attention dedicated to men assaulting women?

Coming up with this article is not easy at all.  However, I believe that this issue needs to be brought out into the open.  By sweeping it under the carpet, we are revictimising those who have experienced some form of female assault, driving them further into their closets of repressed fear, guilt and shame.

It is astounding how many of us, while acutely aware of the various ways men can assault women, adamantly refuse to accept that women too are capable of abuse.  We are brought up in a patriachal society that expects women to be docile, passive and incapable of abuse, and as much as we claim to be liberated from traditional gender roles, we are still uncomfortable with anything other than the male-perpetrator female-victim stereotype.

Abuse have always been underreported due to the stigma and victim blaming.  While women abused by men are gradually coming forward to get help, the same cannot be said for women who are abused by women.  It is heartbreaking that the victims not only have to go through the trauma of being abused, but have to justify the validity of their agony to the rest of the world.

On numerous occasions, both males and females have hit on me, sometimes way past my comfort zone.  If a man had dared pass lewd comments or brush up against me accidentally, anyone who witnessed it would immediately fly into a righteous rage at the culprit, sympathize with my situation and offer to support me if i decide to take further action.  However, when a woman put her hand up my skirt or grope at my breasts, bystanders actually start cheering and egging her on when I am obviously cringing.

Enraged, I call my friends – who simply laughed it off or chided me for kicking up an unneccessary fuss.  More than once, I have even been criticised for inviting the attention by dressing revealingly or by simply being open-minded about my preferences.

This blatant hypocrisy, to say the least, is extremely disheartening, especially when they come from soi disant feminists or LGBT activists who should not use ignorance as a cover-up for fear.

It also bothers me that women often do not know when they are being abused, especially if there is no physical violence or outright rape.  We should return to the fundamentals.  It does not matter whether your perpetrator is male or female.  The same rules apply.  Anytime your wishes and boundaries are not respected, you have every right to take action against the violation.

Please educate yourself, your loved ones and if you can – or care enough to – the larger community.

Speak up against this violence.

No pity.  No shame.  No silence.



# ww. 2010-02-02 21:34

w. said,

May 24, 2006 at 4:02 pm

I commend you for writing on this “taboo” issue. And relationship abuse definitely DOES happen in same sex relationships.

Just to give this comment a personal touch, here’s a post I once wrote on what happened to me personally,
# ssayoni 2010-02-02 21:34

sayoni said,

May 24, 2006 at 4:13 pm

Hi w. It’ll be nice if you link to Sayoni. Thanks…
# xSpert 2010-02-02 21:34

xSpert said,

May 24, 2006 at 4:41 pm

Wow!!!! This things happen 2!!! Didn’t now about that…….. I love this one: “It does not matter whether your perpetrator is male or female. The same rules apply. Anytime your wishes and boundaries are not respected, you have every right to take action against the violation.” and I agree totaly……… It’s not the “actuer” that is important, it’s the action that it matters………

I don’t aprove any kind of violence…….. and reading this stuff, and from “w”………. I can’t belive that exist people like that…….. there’s NO excuse………. My condolances to all people that experience any kind of abuse………..
# ppeggy 2010-02-02 21:34

peggy said,

May 24, 2006 at 6:40 pm

thank you for writing this article.

abuse is abuse no matter if it’s between lesbian, gay, or straight couples.

no double standards should be allowed.
# ww. 2010-02-02 21:35

w. said,

May 24, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Yeah, I’ve linked you guys. :)
# ^ttot^ 2010-02-02 21:35

^tot^ said,

May 24, 2006 at 10:08 pm

I think that was a very powerful article you wrote, Immoral and I am sorry that happened to you personally , w.

I thank my lucky stars that I have never been abused in any of those ways mentioned but I do know of people who had been in that situation and who had on so many occassions tried to get out of it, but never did. I had a friend who was hit once and excused it because she said that it was just done out of anger and probably it was just one of THOSE bad days. It is saddening in many ways when women shrug incidents like these off because we are so often under the impression that “women cant do this to other women” and when they do, we excuse it.

I hope this article strikes a chord with someone and probably somewhere out there, if someone is going through a similar episode right now, she can stand up against that violence. Easier said than done, yes, but we all have to start somewhere, at some point.
# immoralfear 2010-02-02 21:35

immoralfear said,

May 24, 2006 at 10:36 pm

Thank you, W. for sharing your experience and I do hope my article can be of some help, like ^tot^ mentioned. Judging from the positive comments, I dare say that the community IS ready to listen and that is very heartening.

Please do check out the information Sheila kindly posted in the Feminist Forum for more information.

# jeean 2010-02-02 21:35

jean said,

May 25, 2006 at 12:16 am

Hi there

Thanks for writing the article. It is a meaning piece that reflects the humanity of glbt people. Maybe i should say, ALL people. It is deeply moving for me. Thanks for the courage. Hugs.
# ssayoni 2010-02-02 21:35

sayoni said,

May 25, 2006 at 1:30 am

Hey w. Thanks for the article. Really appreciate your honest sharing. :)
# LLsQ 2010-02-02 21:36

LsQ said,

May 25, 2006 at 1:37 am


I agreed that abuse should be taken seriously even if it’s happening on the same -sex context. Actually, all forms of abuse should be taken into concern especially when it has ‘past the comfort zone’. Thanks for sharing your bad experience to create awareness, immoralfear.

To w., I hope you can walk out of the fear frm ‘her’. *a pat on the shoulder*
# ww. 2010-02-02 21:36

w. said,

May 25, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Thanks for the heartening comments. To update, yes I’ve long moved on from the trauma. To be honest it didn’t even feel very real till a few months after when it suddenly occurred to me what had happened.

Anyway, just to clarify, I wasn’t raped like how many of the experiences shared involve. I was simply physically abused – probably less traumatic (I don’t see any emotional scarring in my life at least), but still abuse nonetheless, and something that needs to be stamped out – whether in the heterosexual or GLBT community.
# immoralfear 2010-02-02 21:36

immoralfear said,

June 1, 2006 at 3:24 am

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, perhaps. It is not uncommon for victims of abuse to dissociate, or be in some form of denial. Glad to learn that you are doing okay.
# bbfranklin 2010-02-02 21:36

bfranklin said,

June 1, 2006 at 11:48 pm

I understand because I had gone through an abusive relationship myself. It is impossible to truly understand the reasons behind it, but Ive accepted it as a lesson of life to be learnt.

I wrote about my experience in my old blog
# Immoralfear 2010-02-02 21:36

Immoralfear said,

June 3, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Thank you for sharing. :D
# Tamara 2010-02-02 21:36

Tamara said,

July 3, 2006 at 11:45 pm

Greetings to all!! I believe that educating people on abuse is very important. Thank you to all that have had the courage to share their stories. Something that is very important to remember, in my opinion, is that pain is pain. No one else’s experiences are more or less painful. The wounds inside take longer to heal than the bruises outside. The resulting effects are the same ~ pain.

There are so many forms of abuse, and many of these are not considered to be abuse by those being abuses. Comments such as this one is common… “They don’t hit me, so I am not being abused.”
Some forms of abuse include, but are not limited to…
physical abuse
verbal abuse
psychological abuse
sexual abuse
financial abuse
spiritual abuse
mental abuse
threats of abuse to family, friends, pets

Many know of the cycle of abuse, but have not realized how this cycle progresses. Starts off great in the honeymoon phase, where all is great. Then tension starts building, until it builds so high that an explosion happens. In the early stages of this cycle, that explosion may be a verbal arguement. Following that is denial by the abuser… “If you hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have done this.”… and apologies. Which brings the couple back to the honeymoon phase, and things are good again for a while. Then the tension starts building again. In time the explosions include pushing or shoving, then progress to hitting or worse. As the cycle continues, the honeymoon phase gets shorter and shorter, then goes away completely. Then the relationship has only tension, explosions, and denial. There are only 3 ways to break this cycle.
1- get help
2- leave the relationship (if help is not sought, two cycles will now form when new relationships are started for these individuals)
3- one or both die

And a final note…. please remember, kids exposed to this cycle when they are growing up will become a part of an abusive relationship as they get older, because this was “normal” for them as a child.

As you have said, abuse happens between same sex couples and heterosexual couples. No one is immune to it. Speaking out and educating others is the only way to stop the cycle of abuse.
~ Tamara
# ccuRRent 2010-02-02 21:37

cuRRent said,

August 19, 2006 at 12:37 pm

now we know
even god-gifted lances
can pierce the
tenderest of flesh.

how do we wail?
now we know.
now we know.
# ccuRRent 2010-02-02 21:37

cuRRent said,

August 19, 2006 at 12:47 pm

tempus edax rerum. not.
# ImmoralFear 2010-02-02 21:37

ImmoralFear said,

August 21, 2006 at 1:03 pm


Hope you’re feeling better dear.

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