VIOLENCE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF CAUSAL FACTORS, CLAIRE M. RENZETTI, JOURNAL OF INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE, VOL 3(4) 1988, P381-399.
Despite the increase in research on domestic violence during the last two decades, little attention has been given to the problem of partner abuse among homosexual couples. The present research takes a step toward developing an understanding of homosexual partner abuse by examining the incidence, forms, and correlates of violence in lesbian relationships. Based on questionnaire data from 100 lesbian victims, the study addresses, in particular, the relationships between lesbian battering and (1) abusers' dependence on their partners, and (2) perceived power imbalances between partners in abusive lesbian relationships. In addition, the study explores the extent to which responses from the lesbian community and others to victims of abuse may serve to prevent or exacerbate lesbian batttering. The article concludes by raising questions to guide future research.
BUILDING A SECOND CLOSET: THIRD PARTY RESPONSES TO VICTIMS OF LESBIAN PARTNER ABUSE, CLAIRE M. RENZETTI, FAMILY RELATIONS 1989, NO 38, P157-163.
This article examines the problem of violence in intimate lesbian relationships and the role of third party responses to victims in perpetuating or preventing future attacks. Based on questionnaire and interview data from a nationwide self-selected sample of 100 battered lesbians, the article first examines the incidence and forms of abuse in violent lesbian relationships. It then analyzes victims' help-seeking efforts, the responses of help providers to these requests and the impact of these responses on both victims and violent episodes. The article concludes with recommendations for improving the ways third party help providers respond to lesbian victims.
LESBIAN PARTNER ABUSE: IMPLICATIONS FOR THERAPISTS, SUSAN L. MORROW, DONNA M. HAWXHURST, JOURNAL OF COUNSELING & DEVELOPMENT, VOL 68, 1989, P58-68.
Silence surrounds the issue of lesbian battering. Lesbian victims of partner abuse are even less likely than are their heterosexual counterparts to seek help in shelters or from counselors because of the overlay of homophobia that exists both in the battered women's movemment and among mental health professionals. In addition, many lesbian and many lesbian-supporting therapists hold an idealized and unrealistic picture of the nature of lesbian relationships, leading them to deny the existence of battering among lesbian couples. The nature, severity, and prevalence of abuse in lesbian relationships is addressed; current counseling and treatment models dealing with battering relationships are analyzed; and a counselor advocacy model for working with lesbian partner abuse, drawing from the experience of activists in the battered women's movement and our clinical experience, is suggested.
LESBIAN VICTIMS OF RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE, NANCY HAMMOND, WOMEN & THERAPY, 1989, VOL 8(1/2), P 89-105.
COMPOUNDING THE TRIPLE JEOPARDY: BATTERING IN LESBIAN OF COLOR RELATIONSHIPS, VALLI KANUHA, WOMEN & THERAPY, 1990 VOL 9(1/2), P169-184.
Over the last 15 years, societal awareness of spouse abuse has resulted in an extensive network of services, legislative reform, and research initiatives focused on increasing the public response to this serious social problem. More recently, battering in intimate lesbian relationships has gained the attention of women's and gay/lesbian organizations that deal with domestic violence issues. Lesbians in violent relationships differ significantly from heterosexual couples where battering occurs due to the powerful effect of societal homophobia that silences them from seeking help. This article will address the unique challenges faced by lesbians of color in violent relationships due to the interface not only between violence and homophobia, but racism as well. Analysis of community response to lesbians of color, and clinical issues presented in therapy by lesbians of color who are battered will also be discussed.
BATTERED LESBIANS: ARE THEY ENTITLED TO A BATTERED WOMAN DEFENSE? D.S. DUPPS, JOURNAL OF FAMILY LAW, 1991, VOL 29(4), P879-899.
The battered woman syndrome evolved to recognize the psychological pressures that battered women suffer as a consequnce of living in a battering relationship. Should the batttered woman syndrome apply to battered lesbians? This Note will address that question by analogizing the situation of battered lesbians to battered heterosexual women. Part II introduces the concept of the battered woman syndrome. Part III examines battered woman syndrome as it is used as a defence. Part III also discusses the advantages of the battered woman syndrome over the traditional self-defense doctrine and pleas of temporary insanity. Part IV focuses on the psychological pressures upon battered lesbians. This Note concludes with the idea that the psychological pressures of living in a battering lesbian relationship are as severe as the psychological pressures that battered heterosexual women suffer.
LESBIANS IN CURRENTLY AGGRESSIVE RELATIONSHIPS: HOW FREQUENTLY DO THEY REPORT AGGRESSIVE PAST RELATIONSHIPS? GWAT-YONG LIE, REBECCA SCHILIT, JUDY BUSH, MARILYN MONTAGNE, LYNN REYES, VIOLENCE AND VICTIMS, 1991, VOL 6(2), P121-135.
Findings are reported from a survey examining the frequency with which women in currently aggressive same-sex realtionships also report aggressive past relationships involiving female partners, male partners, or members of their family of origin. Particular attention is paid to victims who also used aggression and their perceptions of whether their aggressive behavior was self-defensive or mutually aggressive.
Results indicate that about one-fourth of participants had been victims of aggression in current relationships, roughly two-thirds had been victimized by a previous male partner, and almost three-fourths had experienced aggression by a previous female partner. Among those reporting having been both victims and users of aggression, about one-fifth had used aggression in their current relationship, almost one-third used aggression with a previous male partner, and nearly two-thirds had used aggression with a previous female partner. A majority of victims who had also used aggression with a previous male partner characterized this use as self-defense, as compared to only 30% of those who had used aggression with a female partner. Instead, aggression in relationships involving a female partner was most frequently described as mutually aggressive in nature.
INTIMATE VIOLENCE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS: DISCUSSION OF SURVEY FINDINGS AND PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS, GWAT-YONG LIE, SABRINA GENTLEWARRIER, JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SERVICE RESEARCH, 1991, VOL 15(1/2), P41-59.
This paper describes the findings of a survey of 1109 lesbians who attended the Women's Music Festival held in Michigan in early August 1985. The primary objectives of the study were to document the incidence of domestic violence in a non-random sample of lesbian relationships; to identify and describe the types of domestic violence experienced and/or perpetrated; and to ascertain the availability and accessiblity of community helping resources to survivors and perpetrators after an abussive episode. Comparisons with domsestic violence in heterosexual relationships are also made, followed by a discussion on the research and practice implications of the findings.
INTERGENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION OF VIOLENCE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, REBECCA SCHLIT, GWAT-YONG LIE, JUDY BUSH, MARILYN MONTAGNE, LYNN REYES, AFFILIA, 1991, VOL 6(1), P72-87.
This study of 104 lesbians found that for the 46 respondents who reported abusive relationsips, there were significant associations between experiences of abuse in their families of origin and the women's subsequent abusive lesbian relationships. Because shelters for abused women are unresponsive to the needs of lesbians, the women rarely used them. Therefore, one compelling implication of the study is that abused lesbians have a great need for safe environments with culturally sensitive workers, who could help them and their batterers confront and resolve their problems.
AN ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL CONFLICT IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, PATRICIA ANN GROVES, DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS INTERNATIONAL AUG 1991, VOL 52(2), P684-A.
VIOLENT BETRAYAL: PARTNER ABUSE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, CLAIRE M. RENZETTI, REVIEW BY DIANE MITSCH BUSH, JOURNAL OF REVIEWS, CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY, MAY 1993, VOL 22(3), P355-356.
NAMING THE VIOLENCE, SPEAKING OUT ABOUT LESBIAN BATTERING, ED KERRY LOBEL, SEAL PRESS, 1986.
VIOLENT BETRAYAL, PARTNER ABUSE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, CLAIRE M. RENZETTI, SAGE PUBLICATIONS, 1992.
Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships, Claire M. Renzetti, Charles Harvey Miley, Eds, Harrington Park Press.
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
"LESBIAN BATTERING," EXTRACT FROM "ALIVE AND WELL, A LESBIAN HEALTH
GUIDE," BY CUCA HEPBURN WITH BONNIE GUTIERREZ
Primarily using "Naming the Violence, Speaking Out About Lesbian Battering," edited by Kerry Lobel, Cuca Hepburn gives an overview of Lesbian battering and includes references to "Say the Words Lesbian
Violence," a conference on Lesbian Battering in San Francisco, May '87.
CONFRONTING LESBIAN BATTERING, RSEARCH COMMITTEE AND STAFF OF LONDON BATTERED WOMEN'S ADVOCACY CENTRE, 69 WELLINGTON STREET, LONDON, ONTARIO, N6B 2K4, CANADA. 1993.
Excellent little booklets which gives three case studies and analyses as well as action to take to confront battering.
BITS & PIECES
"BEHIND THE CURTAINS," - REVIEW OF A PLAY BY TRACY MCDONALD
Tracy McDonald reviewed "Behind the Curtains," a play about Lesbian abuse written by Margaret Nash in "off our backs," Aug'Sep'87. Tracy states that she is reviewing the play from the viewpoint of a Black
Lesbian Feminist. She discusses the purpose of the play (to expose the issue) and emphasises the issues of Race and Class. Her main criticism of the play is that it stereotypes the batterer as butch and the
battered as fem (as, indeed, many articles about Lesbian battering does!) This is an excellent background paper to read about the issues around Lesbian Battering.
"BATTERED LESBIANS ARE BATTERED WOMEN," - DISCUSSION PAPER BY JOYCE
A discussion paper, aimed at the Battered Women's Movement in the u.s.a., is written by Joyce Grover who is the co-chair of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Lesbian Task Force. Joyce outlines the issues: homophobia; myth of mutual battering; batterers within battered women's programmes; denial of Lesbian battering in Lesbian community; special issues for battered Lesbians; anti-homophobia work; need to examine battered women's programmses for violence and oppres-
sion; need for the support and empowerment of battered Lesbians. (This is the best article I have read so far.)
REPORT OF FIRST BATTERED LESBIAN CONFERENCE, JUNE 4/5 '88, U.S.A., BY AMY EDGINGTON.
This comprehensive report was first published by "off our backs" in Nov'88. The report incorporates the statement made - TO THE LESBIAN NATION - by the Lesbian Task Force of the NCADV conference on "Violence in the Lesbian Community," held in Washington DC on Sep 17/18/19 '83.
The report includes a list of topics the participants agreed to write papers on about Lesbian battering; a haggling list of areas for discussion and a statement regarding accountability of Lesbians who
THE SECOND CLOSET, JOELLE TAYLOR, LESBIAN LONDON, DECEMBER 1992.
"ANOTHER SILENCE SHATTERED - LESBIANS IN MISUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, & MORE
ON ABUSE" BY A GROUP OF BATTERED LESBIANS IN SCOTLAND, EDINBURGH WOMEN'S LIBERATION NEWSLETTER
"Another Silence Shattered ..." gives a list of the different issues the group discussed over a period of two months: isolation; disability/exhaustion; degradation; threats; displays of power; enforcing
trivial demands; occasional indulgencies, distorted perspectives. They conclude by encouraging other battered Lesbians to form support groups.
The second article is a follow-on and begins by asserting the lack of positive response to the first article, followed by a list of the negative responses the group received as a result of publishing the
first article, and the group's comments: You are anti-Lesbian being honest/talking about this particularly in light of Clause 28; You've got no evidence/proof; I've never seen her violent/She's not like that
now/She's changed; We've only got your word to go on. We can't take sides, take one woman's word against another; You didn't speak out at the time, therefore it didn't happen. It's just sour grapes; You're
just immature; You are a feminist, you should have known better; This is just a personal problem. The second part of the article examines various myths about Lesbian abuse.
"MORE ABOUT MISUSE," LETTER PUBLISHED IN THE SCOTTISH WOMEN'S AID
This letter is supportive of the "Another Silence Shattered..." article. It is written by a member of a local women's aid group who outlines the thin line she treads as a Lesbian within the Scottish Women's Aid and the need for Lesbian workers from Women's Aid to form support groups.
"SOME NOTES ON ADDRESSING RACISM AND HOMOPHOBIA: THE FIRST SMALL
STEPS," BY SUZANNE PHARR
A short article by Suzanne Pharr, who is an organiser in the battered women's movement in the u.s.a. She gives a simple two step guide to addressing Racism and Homophobia in connection with battered women's
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN HOMOPHOBIA AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, SUZANNE PHARR.
VIOLENCE IN LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, BARBARA HART
VIOLENCE/WOMEN/VIOLENCE, THE GAY NEWS-TELEGRAPH, MARCH 1983.
SEXUAL ABUSE WITHIN THE LESBIAN COMMUNITY, LESBIAN NETWORK NO 15, MARCH 1988, P16.
BREAK THE SILENCE AROUND LESBIAN BATTERING, LEAFLET, NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, U.S.A.
MATRIX, FEBRUARY 1988.
SUBSTANCE USE AS A CORRELATE OF VIOLENCE IN INTIMATE LESBIAN RELATIONSHIPS, REBECCA SCHILIT, GWAT-YONG LIE, MARILYN MONTAGNE, JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, VOL 19(3), 1990, P51-65.
This article examines the problem of domestic violence as related to substance abuse in lesbian relationships. One hundred and four self-identified lesbians responded to a 70-item mail survey. Thirty-nine reported a past or present abusive relationship. Sixty-four percent reported alcohol or drugs were involved prior to or during incidents of battering. Respondents' frequency of drinking significantly correlated with committing abusive acts as well as with being the victim of abusive acts. Efforts must be initiated to improve the delivery of human services to lesbian batterers and victims and to encourage cooperation and cross-fertilization between practitioners from the domestic violence and substance abuse fields.
LESBIAN ALCOHOL AND MARIJUANA USE: CORRELATES OF HIV RISK BEHAVIORS AND ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, SUSANNA M. PERRY, JOURNAL OF PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS, 1995, VOL 27(4) P413-419.
One hundred fifty-two self-identified lesbian and bisexual women participated in an exploratory study of lesbian health and high-risk sexual behaviors. These women were primarily White, middle class, and college educated. The relationship of alcohol and marijuana use to high-risk sexual behaviors and involvement in past or current abusive experiences was investigated. Having been involved in coercive sexual activities was related to some high-risk sexual activities and alcohol and marijuana use. The women in this sample were engaging in high-risk sexual activities, perhaps because of a lack of HIV-risk perception among lesbians in general, and in this sample in particular. These results demonstate the need for HIV and safer-sex education even among highly educated women and awareness of the interrelationship between drug use and unsafe sexual activities.
CARING FOR LESBIANS IN A HOMOPHOBIC SOCIETY, SUSAN E. GENTRY, HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL VOL 13 (2), 1992, P173-180.
Lesbians and gays have suffered for centuries from stigmatization by homophobic, heterosexual people in Western society. It is critical for health care providers to have an understanding of alternative life-styles and the unique health concerns of homosexual people in order to provide sensitive and knowledgeable health care. Lesbian health issues such as assessing the sexual orientation of lesbians, parenting issues, lesbian battering, and the older lesbian woman are discussed. My intent in writing this article is to increase the sensitivity, knowledge and awareness of health care providers caring for lesbians in a homophobic society.
THE COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGIST, 1991, VOL 19(2), INCLUDES:
AFFIRMATIVE PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR LESBIAN WOMEN, CHRISTINE BROWNING, AMY L. REYNOLDS, SARI H. DWORKIN, P177-196.
This article explores the unique issues and concerns facing lesbian women in our culture. Theoretical issues and effective therapeutic interventions in counseling lesbians are examined. Specific content areas highlighted include lesbian identity development and management, interpersonal and couple issues, and specific problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. This article concludes with recommendations for treatment and suggestions for research.
© Jan Bridget/Lesbian Information Service