Examining factors co-existing with interpersonal violence in lesbian relationships

Lisa Eaton, Michelle Kaufman, Andrea Fuhrel, Demetria Cain, Charsey Cherry, Howard Pope, Seth C. Kalichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-705
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Interpersonal violence
  • Lesbian relationships
  • Power
  • Sexual decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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