Young People’s Experiences of Violence and Abuse in Same-sex Relationships: Understandings and Challenges
Studies on youth intimate partner violence (IPV) issues have been increasingly published during the last few years. However, research on IPV in same-sex relationships among youths is limited. The aim of this article is to expand this knowledge base by exploring the voices of four youth exposed to IPV in same-sex relationships, investigating the similarities to violence in heterosexual relationships and shedding light on the complicating factor of sexuality. The Listening Guide analysis used in this article reveals that, although the dynamics of YIPV are similar to heterosexual relationships, participants experience responses from their immediate social network that reflect heteronormativity and homophobia, and result in participants’ feeling like a burden. Furthermore, the findings of the analysis show that dominant social discourses on men’s violence against women may become barriers to help-seeking. Thus, professionals need to gain knowledge of the unique challenges experienced by sexual minority youths exposed to IPV to prevent the issue and support those that experience it. Moreover, qualitative researchers need to further develop an understanding of the lives of youths exposed to IPV in same-sex relationships.
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