“I felt like there wasn’t a way out.”
Nine years ago, I was being physically, sexually, and psychologically abused. I felt like there wasn’t a way out.
I never thought I would experience domestic violence. I remember saying, “I dare someone to put their hands on me,” and I often judged women who stayed in abusive relationships by saying, “Why don’t they just leave!” But here I was feeling trapped in the very same situation I had judged others.
I felt as if I didn’t have a way to get help after physical assaults. I was too afraid to call the police because, sadly, both partners in a same-sex relationship are often arrested during domestic violence situations.
Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ survivors experience additional barriers to getting the help needed to leave an abusive relationship. They’re often met with victimizing legal services, so there is a hesitancy to use them.
I have a teaching license and was pursuing ordination within a Christian denomination to become a minister, so an arrest on my record would put my career hopes in jeopardy.
Thankfully I had friends who helped me leave the relationship and begin the process of healing. One of my friends connected me with an agency that would help me deal with my sexual assault.
I was afraid at first to disclose to the crisis counselor that my partner was another woman. I was so afraid that I would encounter homophobia and that this organization only helped heterosexual persons. Fortunately, the counselor was amazing, and my fears never materialized.
Today I am an outreach advocate at GreenHouse17 helping others find healing and hope. I facilitate our weekly LGBTQ+ domestic violence support group. I believe everyone deserves to live a life free from abuse.
I’m a certified Spiritual Director. I’ve also published a collection of poetry called Hanging Onto Jesus: A Gay Christian’s Journey of Reclaiming Faith. I share poems from each stage of my life – childhood and teenage shame, ex-gay years, and final acceptance of my identity as a queer woman of faith.
This is only part of Christy’s story, in her own words, shared with permission.