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NCJ Number: 166971 Find in a Library
Title: Why Doesn't Anyone Talk About Gay and Lesbian Domestic Violence?
Journal: Thomas Jefferson Law Review  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1996)  Pages:23-40
Author(s): K F Duthu
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 18
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview of gay and lesbian violence focuses on definitions, recognition, how it compares with heterosexual domestic violence, and how the police and courts should get involved.
Abstract: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Lesbian Task Force has defined lesbian battering as "that pattern of violent and coercive behaviors whereby a lesbian seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs, or conduct of her intimate partner or to punish the intimate for resisting the perpetrator's control over her." Two British authors emphasize the power and control dynamic that includes much more than physical battering. Under this concept, gay men's domestic violence is "any unwanted physical force, psychological abuse, material or property destruction inflicted by one man on another." These definitions assume a formal or informal dating or sexual relationship in the dynamic of abuse. Most batterers suffer from some kind of diagnosable, progressive, psychological disorder or mental condition; however, they are usually not insane, crazy, or psychotic. Recognizing gay and lesbian domestic violence as a prevalent problem involves accepting that it happens in a high percentage of every type and class of intimate human interaction. Same-sex relationships force both heterosexuals and homosexuals to avoid gender stereotypes and to re-evaluate the validity of assumptions about physical characteristics as elements of an abusive interaction. The use of homophobia is the crucial difference between gay and lesbian domestic violence and heterosexual domestic violence. Society's fear and hatred of homosexuality causes isolation and increases the vulnerability of gay men and lesbians to domestic abuse. Society must address gay and lesbian domestic violence as a serious crime as well as morally and socially unacceptable behavior. Unfortunately, there has been widespread mistreatment of gay men and lesbians in the legal system. These individuals need better protection, support, and understanding from police, prosecutors, and judges. This paper discusses the distinct but intertwining roles and contributions of the police, prosecutors, and criminal court. 80 footnotes
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Homosexuality; Police domestic violence training; Prosecution
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