Domestic violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender relationships

Authored by: Rebecca Barnes , Catherine Donovan

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Violence

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472483515
eBook ISBN: 9781315612997
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter charts the development of research into domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in same-sex relationships, and more recently in bisexual and/or transgender relationships. First, we offer a brief literature review to set the context with regard to the emergence of attention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender 1 (LGB and/or T) partners’ experiences of DVA; and note the historic reluctance to examine LGBT DVA for ideological, reputational and methodological reasons. We review what is known to date about the extent and nature of DVA in the relationships of LGB and/or T people, focusing on the predominantly Western body of empirical research, but highlighting the gradual internationalisation of LGBT DVA research too. This includes discussion of the key limitations that both shape and reflect the trajectory of research in this area and drawing attention to some of the key lines of enquiry in the current literature: a quantitative emphasis upon measuring prevalence; the psychological exploration of causation; the development of qualitative research about LGBT DVA; and the more recent but growing intersectional analysis of the issues.

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