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Title: Woman-to-woman partner abuse : a qualitative analysis
Author: Barnes, Rebecca
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
Partner abuse m women's same-sex intimate relationships IS characterised by invisibility and often misconceptions and disbelief. A dominant focus upon men's violence towards women - necessary as that has been and continues to be - has made little space for woman-to-woman partner abuse to be addressed and understood. This is particularly the case in the UK, where same-sex domestic violence has been slow to appear on the public domestic violence agenda. This thesis is one of the first contributions to a British body of literature about woman-towoman partner abuse. By sharing data from qualitative interviews with 40 women who self-define as having been abused by female partners, I demonstrate the severity ofthe types, dynamics and impacts ofthe abuse reported. This thesis addresses three key issues, all of which engage with the complexities of woman-to-woman partner abuse and the challenges which woman-to-woman partner abuse poses to dominant constructions of gender, domestic violence and woman-to-woman relationships. Firstly, in demonstrating the striking similarities between participants' accounts and knowledge about women's experiences of heterosexual partner abuse, I identify some of the limitations of gendered constructions of violence and abuse which predominantly posit men as perpetrators and women as victims. Secondly, I examine the implications of the social contexts of women's minority sexual identities for the accessibility of support, and the constraints posed by stigma, 'the closet', homophobia and heteronormativity. I fuse this analysis together with women's reports of barriers to seeking support which share parallels with knowledge about heterosexual women's help-seeking, and I thus draw attention to the double jeopardy which women in abusive same-sex relationships often face. Thirdly, I examine the negative connotations which women associated with 'abused women', and how women subsequently projected self-presentations which helped them to manage and make sense ofan experience which potentially threatens their identities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: University of Nottingham, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.486710  DOI: Not available
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