Allies: Dating violence

May 4th, 2011

Allies works to increase awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer issues at John Carroll University; to provide social and educational programming; to work to serve the needs of the LGBTQ community, both at John Carroll University and as a whole, within the teachings and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Furthermore, we hope to promote Christian teachings by advocating the importance of acceptance, love and support of all people.

We recognize that sexual violence can happen to anyone in any kind of relationship, whether same or opposite-sex. As an organization, we not only offer help to those who are confronting important issues in same-sex relationships, but also in opposite sex relationships because we believe all people should get the support they deserve.

Some issues that affect same-sex couples are different than those that affect opposite-sex couples, so dating violence can be a tricky topic for many in the LGBTQ community. Here are some of the basics:

1.  Many LGBTQ people are afraid to report incidents of sexual violence because they fear being “outed” (telling others that they are LGBTQ). Sexual violence is too important to keep quiet though, and you should report it no matter what.

2.  All relationships are about sacrifice at some point or another, but remember that a healthy balance is necessary. Try seeing things from your partner’s point of view, but if you feel you are being emotionally abused or taken advantage of, tell someone. Talking is a much more effective way to communicate than violence.

3. Many LGBTQ people have less dating experience than the average heterosexual couple due to fear of coming out at an early age. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to talk to friends or family about your relationship. If you think you are in a violent relationship, tell someone.

4. Remember, you’re not dating for the sake of dating. Relationships are meant to make you and your partner happier. All relationships, same and opposite sex, have their rough patches, but if you’re not happy in your relationship then maybe you should reconsider whether you should be dating this person.

This semester Allies will be cosponsoring a program with the Violence Prevention and Action Center, the Dean of Students Office and Campus Safety Services that deals with dating violence in a broad range of relationships. The program will begin on April 27 and will be followed by “Queer Monologues” that weekend. Both programs will be a great opportunity to learn more about relationships and the LGBTQ community. People of all backgrounds are invited and encouraged to attend.