Lesbian/bisexual mothers and intimate partner violence: Help seeking in the context of social and legal vulnerability

Jennifer L. Hardesty, Ramona F. Oswald, Lyndal Khaw, Carol Fonseca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mothers in same-sex relationships face unique challenges when help seeking for intimate partner violence (IPV). Formal helping systems often invalidate their family relationships, leaving them vulnerable and distrustful when help seeking. To better understand their experiences, the authors interviewed 24 lesbian/bisexual mothers who were either in or had left abusive same-sex relationships. Increasing severity of violence, effects of violence on children and families, and "being tired" influenced their definitions of the situation. Decisions to seek formal help appeared to be influenced by their support from informal networks and perceived stigma related to the intersection of IPV and being lesbian or bisexual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-46
Number of pages19
JournalViolence Against Women
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • help seeking
  • intimate partner violence
  • lesbian/bisexual
  • mothers

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