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NCJ Number: 152494 Find in a Library
Title: Letting Out the Secret: Violence in Lesbian Relationships
Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence  Volume:9  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1994)  Pages:469-492
Author(s): L L Lockhart; B W White; V Causby; A Issac
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 24
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Because violence among lesbian couples has largely been ignored by family violence researchers, this exploratory study examined the incidence, forms, and correlates of violence in lesbian relationships.
Abstract: Study respondents were participants at a women's music festival in 1989. About 400 questionnaires were passed out, and 284 women responded. Each respondent was or had been during the past 6 months involved in a committed, cohabitating lesbian relationship. The questionnaire elicited information on the nature of each woman's intimate relationship and her experiences with conflict and violence. Background information was collected from each respondent on education, income, occupational status, number of dependents, religious affiliation, and whether the relationship was monogamous. Measures used to assess intimate violence included Verbal Symbolic Aggression, Violence, and Severe Abuse subscales of the Conflict Resolution Tactics Scale. Most study respondents were white males between 21 and 60 years of age and currently involved in a committed, monogamous lesbian relationship. Most had some college education or had completed college, and most were employed full-time. The median annual income of the women ranged between $20,000 and $30,000. Results demonstrated that lesbian violence was not a rare phenomenon. Almost all respondents had been recipients of one or more acts of verbal aggression from their intimate partners during the previous year. Although far fewer lesbians reported being recipients of physical violence, 31 percent reported one or more physical abuse incidents. Most common forms of physical abuse involved pushing, grabbing, or shoving. About 12 percent reported being victims of severe physical abuse. Literature on lesbian battering, the extent and nature of lesbian violence, early childhood victimization, and sources of conflict in lesbian relationships is reviewed. Further research on the incidence and correlates of violence in lesbian relationships is recommended in order to provide better counseling services to lesbian batterers and their victims. 29 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Female offenders; Female victims; Homosexuality-crime relationships; Violent offenders; Violent women
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