Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships

Domestic violence in lesbian relationships

Domestic violence occurs in lesbian relationships, just as it does in heterosexual relationships. Yes, lesbians can be perpetrators of domestic violence. Statistics show that 30% of couples struggle with some type of domestic violence and that it is just as prevalent in homosexual relationships.

Domestic abuse can come in different forms such as physical abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, social abuse and stalking.

Lesbian Relationships and Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as the physical, emotional, or sexual violence by one partner towards another in order to control them. Domestic violence is about power and control. One partner in the lesbian relationship uses intimidation and control tactics to gain power in the relationship.

The Cycle of Abuse

The cycle of violence and abuse works like this. Initially, the relationship goes great, with the abusive partner displaying no abusive tendencies. In fact, she may appear to be an extremely loving and generous person.

Tension Building Stage: This stage may last a while and begin with minor incidents. It may start with some yelling or throwing of things, and the victim trying to stay out of the way.

Battering Stage: This is where the tension breaks, leading to the act of violence itself. However, couples do not constantly live in this stage. The domestic violence victim in the lesbian relationship can try to hide and lie about this abuse or look for help from police, friends, or domestic violence services.

Honeymoon Stage: Here, the abuser seeks to "rescue" the victim from the abuse. Promising never to act that way again, possibly buying gifts and lavishing attention onto the victim. The victim may feel this was a one-time act and choose to forgive the abuser.

If you are in a lesbian relationship and experiencing domestic violence, there is never any excuse for purposefully hurting another person - physically or emotionally. That type of behavior should never be tolerated and should be reported to the police. All articles on domestic violence and information on where to get help are here.

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Last Updated: 18 August 2016

Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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