Most rainbow relationships are based on love and mutual respect. People are able to be themselves, communicate what they want, negotiate and feel free to say no to things they don’t want to do. Everyone involved feels listened to when they speak.
But sometimes what’s happening in our relationships doesn’t feel alright. No relationship is perfect, but you should not feel unsafe or like you do not have a voice.
Partner violence is when one partner uses any form of abusive behavior to get and maintain control over the other. Ongoing humiliation, threats, stalking by text, online or in person, outing, ridiculing someone’s gender or sexuality, withholding medication or treatments, verbal abuse, controlling money and physical and sexual violence can all be part of partner violence.
People using abusive behaviour may not always recognise that’s what they are doing. That doesn’t mean it’s alright – abuse and control are never ok. Sometimes people need help to change their behavior.
Partner violence happens in rainbow relationships, and for us it’s entwined with the homophobia, biphobia, gender policing and transphobia that we experience in the rest of the world.
In New Zealand, partner violence is illegal no matter what your sexuality, gender or the gender of your partner.
You can read more about rates of partner violence in rainbow relationships and how partner violence may happen towards different members of the rainbow community in our factsheets.