Partner Violence in Rainbow Communities: What We Know and What We Need to Know

Presenter: Betty Jo Barrett, MSSW, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Work and Women’s Studies, University of Windsor.
This Video was presented and recorded on June 11, 2015.

Since the mid 1980’s, a growing body of literature has examined the existence of intimate partner violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, two spirited, and asexual plus (LGBTQQ2A+) communities. This presentation provided an overview of current research and theories on partner violence in LGBTQQ2A+ communities. Implications for the continued development of services for LGBTQQ2A+ survivors of partner violence that are LGBTQQ2A+ positive and affirmative were also be explored.

Video Recording


Click here for Presentation Slides

Recommended Resources from Betty Barrett

  • Further Readings List compiled by Betty Barrett
  • Lesbian Mothers' Counseling Experiences in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence
    This 2012 study by Oswald, Fonseca, and Hardesty examines the counseling experiences of lesbian mothers who are survivors of intimate partner violence. The article reveals when counselors were most helpful (e.g. promoting self-empowerment) and least helpful (e.g. victim-blaming). Implications and recommendations for competent practice are discussed.
  • Sexual Violence and Help-Seeking Among LGBQ and Heterosexual College Students
    This 2015 study by Richardson, Armstrong, Hines, and Reed examines help-seeking by LGBQ and heterosexual college students who have experienced sexual violence. One key finding from the study is that LGBQ victims are more likely to feel that they would be blamed for the sexual violence they experienced and therefore were less likely to seek help than heterosexual students.
  • The Culturally Competent Service Provision to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Survivors of Sexual Violence
    This 2009 review article provides an overview of existing research on survivors of sexual violence who identify as LGBT. It outlines the importance of including LGBT survivors in anti-violence work as well as the types and incidence of LGBT sexual violence. Recommendations for culturally competent practice are also discussed.
  • The Lesbian Partner Abuse Scale
    This 2002 article by McClennen, Summers, and Daley tests the reliability and validity of the Lesbian Partner Abuse Scale-Revised (LE-PAS-R). The usefulness of the LE-PAS-R as a tool for clinicians to facilitation violence prevention in lesbian relationships is discussed, along with applications for practice.
  • The Prevalence of Sexual Assault Against People Who Identify as Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual in the United States: A Systematic Review
    This 2011 article by Rothman, Exner, and Baughman provides a systematic review of 75 studies on sexual assault victimization among people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Prevalence rates of various forms of sexual assault, including childhood sexual assault, adult sexual assault, intimate partner sexual assault, and hate crime-related sexual assault are reviewed. Implications for practice, policy, and research are also discussed.
  • Woman to Woman Sexual Violence
    This 2009 paper by Gilroy and Carroll provides an overview of woman to woman sexual violence. The history of this type of sexual violence is briefly reviewed followed by recommendations for future research and services.
  • Women's Experiences of Male-Purpetrated Sexual Assault by Sexual Orientation
    This 2007 study by Long, Ullman, Long, Mason, and Starzynski examines differences in sexual assault experiences among heterosexual, lesbian, and bisexual women.  Findings indicate that while some similarities exist across all sexual orientations (e.g. attributions of blame), many differences are also reported (e.g. higher PTSD symptomology among bisexual women).

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