You are a clinical social worker with expertise in working with LGBT+ identifying individuals who are experiencing intimate partner violence. You received a call from the local shelter for assistance with a client in need of services. They share that although they can offer outreach services to the client they do not have residential services for “men experiencing domestic violence”. They mention to you that they are unaware of any residential services for men in your area.
History and Presenting Issues:
Ben is an 18-year-old male who identifies as black and gay. Ben has been in a relationship with Carl for 1 year. Carl is a county deputy, on the force for over 10 years. Ben reports the relationship has turned “increasingly violent” during the last 7 months, escalating from verbal insults to physical contact. Ben has been to the emergency room four times for various injuries including a broken arm. Carl picks out Ben’s clothes each day, limits the friends he is allowed to speak with, and monitors his phone activity.
Carl has demanded that Ben stay in the apartment while Carl is at work. Three days ago, Ben went to the grocery store “without permission” while Carl was at work and when he returned, Carl was home. Carl yelled at Ben, grabbed him by the throat and then hit him with his fist in multiple places.
After Carl left for work the next day, Ben put his clothes in a bag and walked to a local store. He slept behind the store before using the store phone to call the local domestic violence shelter.
Ben has a large extended family in the area. He left home in his junior year of high school and moved in with a friend’s family after a fight with his parents. He said his parents had “specific ideas” about where he should go to college and his future career. He said he had to “get out of that house” but that he knows his parents love him. He has spoken to his parents, his brothers, and his Aunt Grace many times since he left. He says he doesn’t want to ask them for help because he feels “embarrassed” that he has been with “someone like Carl” and doesn’t want his parents to know he “let” Carl hit him.