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  coppersymbol.gif (1892 bytes)             Myths -vs- Reality                                                       Home About Us Contact Us             

There are many misconceptions and myths about lesbian domestic violence.  Some of them seek to minimize same-sex battering.

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girlfriends.gif (122 bytes)Abuse/battering that occurs in lesbian battering is mutual.

Mutual abuse, in contrast to battering, holds that both people in the battering relationship are equally responsible.  Often this belief is maintained by the heterosexual community.  The fact is that mutual battering in lesbian relationships is rare. A consensus fight is not going on.  Many victims fight back in an attempt to defend themselves.

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girlfriends.gif (122 bytes)  Lesbian and gay domestic violence is a sexual behavior, a form of S&M.

This myth portrays people that not only like, but also agree to, the violent behavior.  Domestic violence is NOT a sexual behavior.  It is abuse, manipulation, and control that is unwanted by the victim.

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 girlfriends.gif (122 bytes)Domestic violence primarily occurs among lesbians who hang out at bars, are       poor, or are people of color.

The truth is that domestic violence is a NON-discriminatory phenomenon; violent and abusive offenders come from all walks of life, all ethnic groups, and all educational levels.

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 girlfriends.gif (122 bytes) People assume that the butch in the relationship tends to be the abuser.

In the lesbian community, a woman  who tends to be on the masculine side is commonly referred to as "butch,"  while a woman who tends to fill the more traditional female role is referred to as "femme."  This sexism and stereotype often deters victims from coming forward to ask for help.

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 girlfriends.gif (122 bytes) People consistently place responsibility for violence and abuse on the           perpetrator.

In reality, many people blame the victim of domestic violence without realizing it.  They expect the victim to stop the violence and leave that situation, not understanding their reasons for not leaving.

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Taken from Allison's Domestic Violence page.

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Copyright 2000 Berks Women In Crisis
Last modified: June 01, 2000