Bit shocked by this

(14 Posts)
feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 07:03:24

I was Googling lesbian dv statistics (as you do) because I was trying to argue with someone that was pulling the whole men suffer DV thing too online, I expected them to be almost nil to be honest. So I was kind of shocked to see how it is nearly the same as in hetero relationships but also that 30% of lesbian women report sexual violence perpetrated by another woman ! It's just really thrown me, DV is obviously a feminist issue because it so disproportionately affects women.. But I kind of can't get my head around the idea of women as as abusers and especially as sexual abusers.

Guess this post isn't really about anything other than me registering my (naive apparently) shock.

www.pandys.org/articles/lesbiandomesticviolence.html

JumpingJackSprat Wed 16-Jan-13 07:19:15

why so shocked? women can be murderers, thieves, child abusers, why not domestic abusers against either sex?

MMMarmite Wed 16-Jan-13 10:58:18

Yeh, I knew that. DV in same-sex relationships is roughly as common as in opposite sex relationships.

Personally I think we need more dv support for all people, and that creating an image of dv being only male to female is harmful. Some men definitely do suffer from dv, and a great social stigma against reporting it: this is an area where male and female campaigners could work together to campaign for more services, but instead a lot of time is spent on arguing about which gender is worse.

MMMarmite Wed 16-Jan-13 11:01:35

(Sorry if my post implies you're silly for not knowing - it's actually not well known at all, and there's nothing wrong with finding out new stuff!)

TeiTetua Wed 16-Jan-13 13:48:02

I've heard this too, that DV is about as common among homosexuals (of both sexes) as it is among heteros. But assuming that it's true, it seems a little odd that when it happens between a woman and a man, it's almost always the woman who gets hurt. Could it possibly be that if a woman attacks a man, she isn't able to inflict much injury, but when it's the other way round, a man does much worse things? Alternatively, when there's a woman and a man together, perhaps they slip into some kind of socially determined roles, where any violence that takes place, is done by the man.

I've sometimes wondered if violence in homosexual relationships could be an "exception that proves the rule" that might point out something about violence between opposite-sex partners. As in, take away the gender difference and then what drives people to hurt someone close to them?

AmandaPayne Wed 16-Jan-13 13:59:24

I did know that, but only vaguely. I have wondered about Tei's point too. I wondered if maybe a female in a hero relationship is partly constrained by social roles (as she said), but I also wondered whether it was the background knowledge that, if you are violent to someone much physically bigger and stronger than you, that is a very risky behaviour. If, at some sub conscious level, the physical disparity restrains the physically weaker partner from violence.

feministefatale Wed 16-Jan-13 14:00:42

I was surprised by dv, But very surprised by the sexual violence. I just really don't see women as sexual offenders. I just know so many women who have been sexually assaulted either as as an adult or as a child and I just don't see it as something women do, it was always a male offender. Equally I would have assumed gay males couple to have higher dv rates because 2 men are involved. Maybe it really is that men are just more likely to cause the most damage like TeiTua says...

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 16-Jan-13 16:34:19

OP I have known male and female victims of DV. What do you mean by "someone was pulling the whole men suffer DV too"? Did you really believe that women could not be perpetrators of violence?

feministefatale Thu 17-Jan-13 16:27:33

No, but anytime you mention domestic violence or rape as a woman's issue. Someone immediately tries to minimize it by saying oh men get abused too. Of course they do but in no way on the same scale as women.

Just because there aren't as many male victims, doesn't mean that male abuse shouldn't get talked about though surely?

Also, 40% of victims are male, so hardly a tiny minority really.

If people want to focus their efforts on female violence, that's fine, but no-one should try and play down the issue of male violence either. Nothing feminist about that.

I think we are sort of encouraged to be shocked by women who're violent, especially sexually violent, in a way we're not about men. Because women are still not really seen as full adults with adults capacities to be violent or twisted in their attitudes towards sexual activities. If you look at how women who commit violent/sexualized crimes are presented in the media, they are always either demons who get far more shock value than the men, or they are dim-witted sidekicks. I doubt either of those things are true.

I think it's horrible, because it means that women who're victims of this kind of violence have a whole different set of difficulties in getting believed and helped.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 19-Jan-13 14:31:10

DV is DV. It is nasty, frightening and needs to be addressed properly by our society. Far from minimizing, I think that explaining what it is and who suffers from it is healthy.

IME the fear and trauma suffered by DV victims is the same, regardless of gender.

RabidCarrot Sat 19-Jan-13 14:36:15

I was trying to argue with someone that was pulling the whole men suffer DV thing too

So are you saying men do not suffer DV at the hands of women? because that is untrue and silly

Andro Sat 19-Jan-13 15:48:37

Female on male dv is even more under-reported percentage wise than male on female dv, same with male rape - largely because a lot of people don't seem to believe it happens. Abuse is abuse is abuse, I don't care who the victim is, they need help, support and their abuser jailed!

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