• Catherine DonovanEmail author
  • Rebecca Barnes
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Victims and Victimology book series (PSVV)


Chapter  1 sets out the central concerns of this book and introduces the key conceptual tools on which our sociological analysis draws. We briefly review existing research on intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) in LGB and/or T+ people’s relationships and explain why we do not dismiss feminist theorising in making sense of this. Our central argument, informed by Michael Johnson’s typology, is that there are different kinds of IPVA and that it is essential in research and practice to distinguish between them. We unpack how the impact of the public story of domestic violence and abuse means that IPVA in LGB and/or T+ people’s relationships is often perceived to be mutual abuse. We extend this public story to include how a binary of ideal victim/perpetrator inhibits those who are being victimised and who enact what we call ‘space for reaction’—the range of violent and non-violent behaviours which victimised partners might use in response to coercively controlling partners—from recognising their victimisation. We outline how our analysis is both intersectional and ecological, accounting for not only the multiple identities inhabited by participants, but also the wider social and cultural context through which structural inequalities are reproduced.


Cisnormativity Coercive control Domestic violence and abuse Ecological analysis Feminist theory Heteronormativity Intimate partner violence and abuse Lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender Intersectionality Minority stress Mutual abuse Perpetrators Public story of domestic violence and abuse Typologies of domestic violence and abuse 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Durham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.University of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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