Queer partner abuse: an exploration of gender, power, and service delivery




Michael, Heather

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This thesis centers the voices of eight queer participants and explores their lived experiences of partner abuse, for the purpose of theorizing about queer partner abuse in ways that challenge and confirm mainstream heteronormative ways of understanding relationship abuse. The research was carried out using a critical qualitative thematic approach, which allowed for rich descriptions to be provided by participants through conversational interviews. The eight participants involved in this research were from the BC lower mainland and varied in age, socio-economic status, ability, mental/emotional health, race, and gender identity. Three themes emerged during the literature review and were central to the analysis: (a) gender; (b) power; and (c) service delivery. The findings indicate that participants not only internalized gender identities, but also constructed their experiences of relationship violence through the available discourse, which is mainstreamed and gendered. The most significant finding in this research has been the extent to which homophobia and heterosexism affected each of the participants within their personal relationships and in relation to their social environment.



same sex partner abuse, family violence, British Columbia