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Naming and recognition of intimate partner violence and family of origin violence among LGBTQ communities in Australia

Bourne, Adam and Amos, Natalie and Donovan, Catherine and Carman, Marina and Parsons, Matthew and Lusby, Stephanie and Lyons, Anthony and Hill, Adam O. (2022) 'Naming and recognition of intimate partner violence and family of origin violence among LGBTQ communities in Australia.', Journal of Interpersonal Violence .


Dominant framings of intimate partner violence (IPV) construct the experience as one where a cisgender man enacts violence against a cisgender woman. While often the case, this framing obfuscates the experiences of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender diverse or queer (LGBTQ) and may challenge their ability to conceive of their relationship-based experiences as abusive or violent. The extent to which hostile experiences from family of origin (FOV) members are conceived or named as violence is also unclear. A large, online, national survey of LGBTQ adults separately assessed experiences of IPV and FOV in two ways: a direct question relating to abuse from a partner/s or family member/s, and a second question (asked irrespective of the previous answer) which sought to establish experience of a nuanced list of abusive acts that can constitute violence (including emotional abuse, LGBTQ-specific forms of violence and enforced social isolation). Following comparison of responses, multiple regression analyses were performed to assess variation by demographic characteristics. Among the full sample of 6,835 individuals, when asked directly, 30.93% (n = 2,108) of participants indicated that they had ever experienced FOV and 41.73% (n = 2,846) indicated that they had ever experienced IPV. However, when asked about experiences of FOV using the second nuanced question, 43.18% (n = 2,675) responded in ways that indicated that they had ever experienced FOV and 60.71% (n = 3,716) with respect to IPV. The recognition of violence, as indicated by responses to the direct question varied by numerous characteristics, including age, gender and educational attainment. These findings indicate some LGBTQ people may struggle to recognise or name their family or relationship experiences as abusive or violent, which may complicate their ability or willingness to access professional support. More expansive framings, policies and responses to IPV and FOV are required.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This contribution has been accepted for publication in Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Date accepted:20 July 2022
Date deposited:25 July 2022
Date of first online publication:No date available
Date first made open access:25 July 2022

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