In-home violence, domestic violence, is impartial. There is no culture, gender, income bracket, education level, community, religion, lifestyle, or sexuality which escapes the horror of being abused by someone you love in the very place you should feel most safe. No one deserves to be mentally, emotional, physically, sexually, spiritually, or financial abused. Once people stop asking the victim, “What did you do?”, and begin asking, “What are we going to do?” the cycle of violence will begin its journey to an end.
As this series on domestic violence continues, it would be irresponsible not to include the often overlooked abuse of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals in homes.
Mr. Patrick Dati is a survivor of child abuse and bullying. Mr. Dati says, “I lived most of my life hiding my identity out of shame and fear, which was due to the abuse and ceaseless sibling bullying.” His fear and shame was not connected to the harshness that can exist in society, but the terror which existed in his home. It took Patrick years before he finally revealed to his family that he was gay. (Though he believes they knew long before he actually told them.) At age 7, he began to realize he was different than his brothers. Too young to understand why, he began a journey of shame. Just two years later, according to Patrick, he was raped in a public bathroom by the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy. His family was clueless as to what happened. He hid the secret deep within himself out of fear that his attacker would seek revenge.
Patrick recounts, “Strangely enough as the next few years went by, I started to feel I was not right in my skin. The odd thing is that I felt my brother knew this. I think because he teased me that I was a sissy and because I was not like him and my other brother made me feel even worse in my skin.” The verbal, physical, and emotional abuse continued in and out of the home. He had no place where he could seek refuge. A young man, unsure of himself, insecure with sexual identity, and hiding the physical and emotional pain of rape, he lived his life pleasing others. He pushed aside his attraction toward other men and married twice in an effort to give his family the “Patrick” they wanted. As if he had not endured enough, Patrick met a man who convinced him they were right for one another. That man depleted Patrick emotionally and financially. Read more of Patrick Dati’s story
Embracing what he endured and who he believes himself to be, Patrick has now broken his silence by writing a non-fiction manuscript. He tells his story of the abuse and bullying which tormented him throughout his childhood and into his adult life. He attempted suicide, but was freed by 3 words “I have survived”. Patrick Dati is also a gay father of a beautiful 15 year old daughter, and shares his life now with his loving partner. Patrick has become an advocate for several organizations related to survivors of childhood abuse and bullying and is starting his launch with public speaking to help other victims. www.youandmecanstopbullies.com
Patrick was chosen as 1 of 7 people to be the 2012 spokesperson for the US Department of Health and Human Services trauma victims that survived. He sums up his pain and his survival by saying, “If I can save one life I have done the work God has put me on this earth to do.”
Read the other stories in the series:
Terror in the home: Story of child abuse survivor, Hanz Medina
Children who experience and witness domestic violence