Same-sex intimate partner violence : exploring the parameters

Ball, Matthew J. & Hayes, Sharon L. (2010) Same-sex intimate partner violence : exploring the parameters. In Scherer, Burkhard (Ed.) Queering Paradigms. Peter Lang AG, Bern, pp. 161-177.

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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is not only a problem for heterosexual couples. Although research in the area is beset by methodological and definitional problems, studies generally demonstrate that IPV also affects those who identify as non-heterosexual; that is, those sexualities that are typically categorized as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI). IPV appears to be at least as prevalent in LGBTI relationships as it is in heterosexual couples, and follows similar patterns (e.g. Australian Research Centre on Sex, Health and Society 2006; Donovan et al. 2006; Chan 2005; Craft and Serovich 2005; Burke et al. 2002; Jeffries and Ball 2008; Kelly and Warshafsky 1987; Letellier 1994; Turrell 2000; Ristock 2003; Vickers 1996). There is, however, little in the way of specific community or social services support available to either victims or perpetrators of violence in same-sex relationships (see Vickers 1996). In addition, there are important differences in the experience of IPV between LGBTI and non-LGBTI victims, and even among LGBTI individuals; for example, among transgender populations (Chan 2005), and those who are HIV sero-positive (Craft and Serovich 2005). These different experiences of IPV include the use of HIV and the threat of “outing” a partner as tools of control, as just two examples (Jeffries and Ball 2008; Salyer 1999; WA Government 2008b). Such differences impact on how LGBTI victims respond to the violence, including whether or not and how they seek help, what services they are able to avail themselves of, and how likely they are to remain with, or return to, their violent partners (Burke et al. 2002). This chapter explores the prevalent heteronormative discourses that surround IPV, both within the academic literature, and in general social and government discourses. It seeks to understand how same-sex IPV remains largely invisible, and suggests that these dominant discourses play a major role in maintaining this invisibility. In many respects, it builds on work by a number of scholars who have begun to interrogate the criminal justice and social discourses surrounding violent crime, primarily sexual violence, and who problematize these discourses (see for example Carmody 2003; Carmody and Carrington 2000; Marcus 1992). It will begin by outlining these dominant discourses, and then problematize these by identifying some of the important differences between LGBTI IPV and IPV in heterosexual relationships. In doing so, this chapter will suggest some possible reasons for the silence regarding IPV in LGBTI relationships, and the effects that this can have on victims. Although an equally important area of research, and another point at which the limitations of dominant social discourses surrounding IPV can be brought to light, this chapter will not examine violence experienced by heterosexual men at the hands of their intimate female partners. Instead, it will restrict itself to IPV perpetrated within same-sex relationships.

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ID Code: 29775
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: domestic violence, same-sex, intimate partner violence, heteronormative, discourses
ISBN: 9783039119707
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Criminology not elsewhere classified (160299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > OTHER LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (189900) > Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified (189999)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Peter Lang AG
Deposited On: 28 Jan 2010 21:45
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 15:11

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