A spike in gay domestic violence slayings has alarmed advocates in Massachusetts, who say the justice system is insensitive to warning signs of gay-on-gay abuse. The state has seen seven such killings since 2010, but attempts to educate police have sputtered, the Boston Globe reports. “It was pretty traumatizing,’’ says one gay advocate of a workshop attended by police—who walked out. “As soon as we started in on the content, one officer asked: 'Why are we here? This is just like our diversity training. This is a waste of our time.'"
Judges routinely issue restraining orders against both parties in a relationship, unable to spot the abuser—who then becomes empowered, advocates say. Or police fail to identify a troubled relationship as gay, assuming the pair are roommates or friends. At times, even gay abuse victims will hide their sexual identity for fear of being outed. For now, gay advocates are staying friendly with police and planning a vigil for the recent deaths. "If this number of people had died" because of straight violence on gays, says one, "people would be saying this is a crisis."