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Digital Subscriptions > Curve > Aug/Sep2017 > Too Close For Comfort

Too Close For Comfort

Despite the prevalence of LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), there is a lack of public awareness of the issue. Silence has rendered LGBTQ IPV invisible, with fewer policies and services available to victims, and little likelihood that victims will be taken seriously. LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence: Lessons for Policy, Practice, and Research is written for LGBTQ IPV victims, survivors, their allies, LGBTQ community organizations, mental and medical healthcare providers, social workers, law enforcement agencies, IPV organizations and shelters, researchers, and teachers. The book is currently available from the University of California Press and Amazon.com. We caught up with author Adam M. Messinger to learn more.

ISSUES

RATES OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE FOR LGBT WOMEN IN COMPARISON TO HETEROSEXUAL WOMEN

In line with past studies, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) found that bisexual women (61 percent) and lesbian women (44 percent) are far more likely than heterosexual women (35 percent) in the United States to be physically assaulted, raped, or stalked by an intimate partner within their lifetimes. This pattern extends to psychological intimate partner violence (IPV), which is experienced in the lifetimes of 76 percent of bisexual women, 63 percent of lesbian women, and 48 percent of heterosexual women. Considerably less data is available on transgender IPV, but studies generally find female-identified transgender people are also at an elevated risk of IPV victimization. These are lifetime rates, so it is important to keep in mind that the majority of relationships sexual minority and transgender women have are nonabusive. Unfortunately, it is similarly clear that such women are at the greatest risk of experiencing IPV at some point in their lives. A series of prominent studies have concluded that bisexual women are more likely to experience IPV than women of any other sexual orientation.

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About Curve

This is our Love issue, and inside we celebrate many formal expressions of love and commitment from diverse couples in different locations. We also remind readers to safeguard their health—sexual, psychological, and physical—which still needs to be maintained even within a committed relationship. Love isn’t as random as Cupid’s arrow. Getting it and keeping it need to be worked at. Decades of activism and visibility gave us the right to formalize our romantic unions—and vigilance will give us the right keep it.
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