Understanding the experiences of lesbian, bisexual and trans survivors of domestic violence: a qualitative study.J Homosex. 2006; 51(1):159-81.JH
Using a participatory approach, our objectives were to understand community perspectives on domestic violence (DV) in lesbian, bisexual and trans (LBT) communities, and to assess access to and cultural appropriateness ofDVservices for LBT survivors.
We used qualitative methods and conducted focus groups and semi-structured interviews with LBT survivors of DV.
Nearly all participants reported that the level of awareness regarding DV in their communities was limited. Survivors reported difficulty identifying their partners' behavior as abusive. Isolation was described as central to experiences of abuse, and respondents discussed a variety of isolation tactics specific to LBT communities. Isolation also contributed to difficulty seeking help. Respondents reported that they often did not access mainstream DV services due to concerns about homophobia and transphobia. To address DV in LBT communities respondents pointed to the importance of friendship and community networks, sharing information about queer DV, and holding batterers accountable for their behavior.
LBT people face challenges identifying and responding to DV that are specific to their cultural context. Services for LBT DV survivors must be culturally appropriate and accessible. Community based solutions for addressing and preventing DV should be encouraged.