Secret shame of domestic and family violence among LGBTI community

February 14, 2017

Once Russ Vickery came out as gay at the age of 42, it didn’t take long for him to meet an “absolute charmer” and fall into his first same-sex relationship.

Looking back Mr Vickery realises he met his partner at a time when he was not quite on top of this game, coming out of a 17-year marriage and dealing with custody issues.

“Looking back … it was very typical of a DV type of situation,” he told “This knight in shining armour comes in and makes life look fantastic.

“None of the real violence started probably until six months in.” Domestic violence within same-sex relationships is not often talked about, among Australians generally or within the gay community.

Like many others in the LGBTI community Vickery had no idea domestic violence happened at the same rate in same-sex relationships as in heterosexual relationships. “It’s not something within the community that’s actually talked about a lot,” he said.

Mr Vickery said his partner took advantage of his newness to the gay scene, telling him “arguments happen” and the behaviour was typical of two blokes living together. “I had nothing to gauge that on,” Mr Vickery said, adding deep down he felt something was wrong but wasn’t sure.

“I had three kids … and he would say things like ‘you’re really lucky to have me, if I wasn’t around nobody would be interested in you’. “Looking back at it, you realise how silly you are but because it’s your everyday life, you just don’t know any different.”

He said the first sign of trouble happened the night of his ex-partner’s birthday.

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