Examining factors co-existing with interpersonal violence in lesbian relationships
Interpersonal violence within lesbian relationships is a significant yet understudied problem. Women attending a gay pride festival in Atlanta, GA, were asked to complete a survey concerning same-sex interpersonal violence. Women who reported being in a current or previous same-sex partner relationship were included in the analyses (N?=?226). Factors that occurred in the context of interpersonal violence were investigated: substance use, HIV/STI risk behaviors, barriers to reporting abuse, and attitudes inhibiting seeking of social support. In addition, the survey assessed relationship-related power dynamics. Results of multivariate analyses support the hypotheses that power imbalance and inequality when making sex-related decisions within women’s same-sex relationships are associated with interpersonal violence. Further findings suggested that a combination of factors must be considered when dealing with and reducing the risk for violence in same-sex relationships.