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BEATING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
As many readers will be aware a group of Blue
Mountains lesbians and other lesbian-friendly
community organisations recently held a Lesbian
Forum in Katoomba. Issues discussed included
lesbians and the law and lesbian health issues. As
one of the sponsors of the Forum we believe it is
important to clarify some of the points raised by
the article “The Silent Closet” (March LOTL).
Blue Mountains Women’s Health Centre believes
that domestic violence is about power and control
– about one partner or family member exerting
power over the other. Whilst social factors such
as unemployment may have an effect on domestic
violence, we believe that the responsibility for
domestic violence lies with the perpetrator and
that the perpetrator has the power and ability to
change their behaviour.
What this means specifically in relation to
lesbians is unclear. As far as we are aware there
has been very little research undertaken on the
differences between heterosexual and same sex
domestic violence, the nature and extent of the
problem and the supports that are needed to assist
the women affected – this is clearly an area for
further research. In relation to the local lesbian
community, we are unaware of any research that
has been undertaken in the Blue Mountains about
same sex domestic violence that has identified
the extent of the problem locally.
Whilst social isolation is a problem for many
people living in the Blue Mountains, not exclusive
to lesbians, there are a number of lesbian and gay
groups that Blue Mountains lesbians can tap into.
Information about these groups can be found on
Suzie van Opdorp, Manager,
Blue Mountains Women’s Health Centre
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IWD MISSING IN ACTION
I read March LOTL and I couldn’t
find anything on International Women’s
Day. I would have thought a lesbian
magazine would include and celebrate
this inspiring and worthwhile day. It
disappoints me to think that this very
important recognition of women has
Tania Morsman, via email.
[Ed: IWD was a subject of the Editor’s
note on p.6, there were pieces on p.9
Sydney edition, p.8 Brisbane edition,
and p.8 current Melbourne edition.]
What a well written, accurate, and to-the-
point article about the dangers of crystal
meth (Health, March LOTL). I couldn’t
agree more. As an ex-addict who has
suffered the ravages of psychosis and
mental and physical health problems
due to using crystal meth, I think it is
so important to get the message out to
everyone about the dangers of using.
Keep up the good work.
Amelia, via email.
There is absolutely nothing wrong
with erotica (March LOTL ‘Sweet
Cheeks’) but why the emphasis on
sadomasochism, or as apologists prefer
to say, bondage and discipline. I can
understand that for some people they
have learned to endure physical pain
before being capable of experiencing
sexual pleasure but why would anybody
obtain gratification from knowingly
causing pain to another human being
even with their so called “consent.”
Would you smack another person?
Would this make you feel powerful
and strong? What a worry. And how
would you feel afterwards? It takes a
lot of emotional damage to overcome
the taboo of assaulting others. There
are better ways to deal with the damage
from childhood abuse. Surely it is better
to have lived a life where you have not
added to the totality of human suffering.
Above all else do no harm.
Dory van Koolwijk, via email.
MARDI GRAS TARRED
Fabulous Mardi Gras, wonderful parade,
great festival, lots of fun, food and
friends. Just one thing spoils it every
time. I don’t smoke, hardly any of my
friends smoke: so how is it that every
time I go out, I come home stinking
like a bloody ashtray? What is it about
our community and smoking? Smoking
rates in the broader community are
falling all the time, so why does it seem
like every second lesbian has a fag in her
mouth (no pun intended)? … Surely you
can’t seriously still believe it’s cool? Or
is it self-loathing that makes you want to
smoke yourselves into an early grave? If
so, could you all please just grow up, see
a therapist, or at least find some way to
kill yourselves that doesn’t ruin a good
night out for the rest of us?
Kate, via email.
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