I have a good friend in my life that I look up to. She's a friend I don't know very well but she's a friend that I feel a sense of comfort with. She shared her new project with me, and I think is absolutely amazing.
Out With It Stories is a compilation art and healing project that offers a place to share survivor stories of domestic abuse within queer relationships. She will be working with a Chicago-based artist to turn the anonymous submissions into an art project.
In 2014, the National Violence Against Women survey found that 21.5% of men and 35.4% of women of same sex relationships have experienced domestic abuse / intimate-partner physical violence in their lifetime. NVAW did not even survey the transgender community, however another survey found 34.6% of transgender people have experienced domestic partner abuse / intimate partner abuse. So why are we only talking about heterosexual relationship violence?
The sad truth is that there are queer people and queer relationships that experience domestic abuse but there are far less resources targeted for those victims. Often times if reported, the abuse is written off as a "cat fight" or "lover's quarrel" because there is no obvious physical disadvantage in a same-sex relationship. No one who loves you, should ever physically harm you.
Domestic abuse is not just physical. Domestic abuse is about control and manipulation through intimidation, finances, fear and shame.
"I didn’t realize that this was abuse. I thought abuse, domestic violence, occurs when a man hits or threatens a woman. Not when two women argue. I know now that if a relationship feels unfair, if it feels like you can’t win, if there is even one time of physical abuse, these are all signs of domestic violence, gay or straight."
- Founder of Out With Stories
In your healing process, please share your story on Out With It Stories. Let your voice be heard. All submissions are anonymous. Submit stories, poems, artwork... whatever it is to help you share your story in the way that feels right to you. Submit here.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please notify authorities. If you need support call or visit The Network/La Red, a survivor-led organization focused on ending partner abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, BSDM, polyamorous and queer communities. The contact support number: (617) 742-4911 or 617-227-4911(TTY). All services are free and confidential (including support groups, safe-home programs and interpreters).