A systematic review on LGBTIQ Intimate Partner Violence from a Western perspective

Alex Workman, Tinashe Dune


Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) as experienced by minority populations is poorly understood. Within the Western world, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer or Questioning LGBTIQ population is one such group which suffers from misrepresentations and misunderstandings. In Western nations, IPV is primarily constructed as perpetrated by men and experienced by women. However, for the LGBTIQ population, this dichotomous view of IPV is inaccurate and invalidating. A systematic review was conducted to investigate the level of LGBTIQ inclusivity within IPV discourses in the Western world as discussed in peer reviewed literature. In particular, the review sought to understand how media, advocacy, policy, and legislation shape LGBTIQ IPV experiences and resulting discourses. The literature search was conducted between June 2018 and January 2019. The search included five electronic databases in psychology, health, and social sciences. Of the 206 articles identified by the search, 21 were reviewed. The review analyzed literature using a thematic approach. Eight key themes emerged, indicating media, legislation, policy, and advocacy are not entirely inclusive concerning LGBTIQ IPV. The review found that pervasive attitudes like heterosexism, cissexism, homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia reinforce institutional barriers and limited LGBTIQ IPV reporting. In addition, the review found low service and provider competency levels, and more broadly, the research was limited. It is likely that heteronormative frameworks and discourses mean many aspects of LGBTIQ IPV are still under-researched. Without a more robust inclusion of diversity in discourses on IPV, services and supports for LGBTIQ people will continue to be limited and based on heteronormative frameworks of victimhood.


Intimate partner violence; criminal justice; LGBTIQ; inclusion; media; policy; legislation; advocacy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.35502/jcswb.96


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ISSN: 2371-4298 (Online)