Intimate Betrayal : Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships book cover
1st Edition

Intimate Betrayal
Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships

ISBN 9780789016638
Published January 28, 2002 by Routledge
146 Pages

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Book Description

Help ease the secret suffering of lesbians in abusive relationships!

Why is woman-on-woman violence so often ignored or discounted? Intimate Betrayal: Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships uncovers the hidden problem of lesbians who hurt the women they love. This long-needed book brings together theory, practice, and research to suggest new and fruitful ways to understand, prevent, and treat this common problem.

Intimate Betrayal provides new empirical research into the psychological and sociocultural causes of abuse. As several of the chapter authors demonstrate, neither traditional feminist theories about power nor heterosexist paradigms explain the causes, dynamics, or treatment of this problem. However, the new research presented here suggests helpful diagnostic criteria and effective treatments.

Intimate Betrayal analyzes the factors that contribute to lesbian domestic violence, including:

  • heterosexism and homophobia
  • minority stress
  • emotional isolation and lack of community ties
  • revictimization of women who have previously suffered abuse
The thorough literature review included reveals the paucity of attention that has been paid to this problem. Intimate Betrayal suggests exciting new models for freeing women from domestic violence, including the use of clinical and community resources and liberation theology. Community activists, counselors, and psychologists will be intrigued by the insightful analysis of the root causes of lesbian-on-lesbian violence and the valuable treatment suggestions. Researchers will welcome the new avenues it opens for additional research.

Table of Contents


  • Intimate Betrayal: Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships
  • Forging Community Links to Address Abuse in Lesbian Relationships
  • Nowhere to Hide: Lesbian Battering, Homophobia, and Minority Stress
  • Knowledge About Heterosexual versus Lesbian Battering Among Lesbians
  • Decentering Heterosexuality: Responses of Feminist Counselors to Abuse in Lesbian Relationships
  • The Power of Shame: Lesbian Battering as a Manifestation of Homophobia
  • Lesbians Who Abuse Their Partners: Using the FIRO-B to Assess Interpersonal Characteristics
  • Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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Ellyn Kaschak