Thanks to changes in the law, same-sex couples have more rights regarding marriage and shared benefits than ever before. It is only fair and just that all U.S. Citizens be granted the same opportunities to fall in love and marry or cohabitate with the person of their choosing. And while there many wonderful aspects of shared domestic life, there can also be a dark side. Sadly, some relationships are negatively impacted by domestic violence, and same-sex couples are not immune.

According to information published by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, bi-sexual and gay men have a two-in-five rate of experiencing abuse in intimate relationships. This statistic is comparable to the domestic violence rate suffered by heterosexual women. Moreover, it is estimated that around half of all lesbians have suffered or will suffer incidents of domestic violence within the span of their lifetimes.

Power and control are often at the core of abusive behavior. And abusers can employ some different tactics against their partners. Types of abuse include, but are far from limited to, making threats, causing bodily harm, using demeaning language and misusing financial resources.

Making matters all the more difficult for gay or lesbian victims of domestic violence is the fear that they may encounter bias should they report the abuse. As such, the NCADV states that such incidents are often not reported.

If you are in a domestic relationship and are being subjected to abuse, your health and well-being may be dependent upon extricating yourself from the situation as soon as possible. One self-empowering step you may want to take is contacting an attorney who has experience dealing with issues specific to same-sex couples. The attorney could advise you on your legal rights regarding a divorce or the termination of your partnership. You do not have to suffer alone and in silence.