Domestic violence is an issue that affects people of all ages, sexual orientations, genders, races and society. It is defined as an attempt to cause bodily harm, threats, mental and/or physical abuse against a household member such as a current spouse, parent, stepparent, grandparent, stepchild, daughter or a person whom the offender had an intimate relationship with. This can also include incidents of stalking or sexual abuse not only against a household member but any other person. The sociological focus would be to describe Domestic violence in Lesbian Relationships and how it is not merely a family problem, but rather a social problem as well. Are lesbian relationships excluded from Domestic Violence? Does this discriminate a certain gender or is it a cultural or religious thing? Conducting research on these topics would be crucial to analyzing the consequences and what we are doing as a society to find a solution to the problem.
Domestic violence was once viewed as a gender based personal issue or a private matter between the couples. In the 1980s domestic violence was the cause of injuries to most women, and it has been recently that gender based violence has become a public issue (Disch, 2006). Gender viewed domestic violence was described by C. Wright Mill’s as a Sociological Imagination where this is both a Personal problem and a public issue (Wright Mills, 1959). The Sociological Imagination links history and biography by shifting the perspectives from sociopolitical to psychological (Wright Mills, 1959). Although domestic violence includes many forms of abuse, most people think that the term is referred to a male perpetrating against a female partner (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). As troubling as it may be to their safety and their self-worth, women whom have endured this type of abuse find it very personal and damaging to their self-worthiness.
According to the CDC’s National Intimate Partner And Sexual Violence Survey, there is a 1.8 incidence rate that homosexual women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence than heterosexual relationships (Walters, Chen, & Breiding, 2013) One study reported that 3.6 % of lesbian woman reported to have experienced intimate partner violence (Messinger, 2011). In the past few decades, domestic violence has increased in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender(LGBT) community.
Same-sex intimate relationships are about as violent as a heterosexual partnership and evolving into a public issue due to homophobia against their sexual preference, leaving same sex partners with no resources. Regardless of the gender or sexual orientation, violence is more about gaining power over strength. The perpetrator always tries to gain control of the victims beliefs and their behaviors so they can dominate the relationship. It is very important to understand that domestic violence has evolved in our society and become a social factor. The perception in society about women being the ‘weaker sex’ has a lot to do with the increase in domestic violence (Thenimble, 2012) The Social Learning theory believes that people are not born with violent instincts but rather it is learned through observation and life experiences which will cause an individual to be violent and aggressive to others