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- Author or Editor: Rebecca Barnes x
Domestic abuse is often hidden in church contexts. Despite a body of North American research, it has rarely been researched in the UK. This article offers new empirical findings on the nature and extent of, and attitudes to, domestic abuse among churchgoers. The data are drawn from a cross-denominational survey of 438 churchgoers in rural north-west England. The majority of the survey respondents were female and aged over 60, providing important evidence of domestic abuse victimisation among this seldom-heard group. Using a broad measure of domestic abuse encompassing physical, emotional, sexual, financial and spiritual dimensions, the results revealed that one in four had experienced at least one abusive behaviour in their current intimate relationship. While headline figures for prevalence are similar for women and men, analysis revealed gender differences in four areas: number of abusive behaviours experienced, types of abuse, frequency of victimisation and impacts of abuse, with women experiencing the most frequent and high-impact abuse. Churchgoers’ comments on the church’s response to abuse reveals silence as a key theme, and the article attributes the church’s silence to gendered power relations in the wider church.
Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) affects many LGB and/or T+ people’s relationships, yet victims/survivors rarely seek help from the police or specialist DVA support services. This chapter reports on findings from the ‘Coral Project’, which focused on LGB and/or T+ people’s use of abusive behaviours. Focus groups were conducted with practitioners in what we term ‘relationships services’, working directly or indirectly supporting people with their intimate relationships. The analysis revealed varying conceptualisations of DVA in different practice cultures and an unmet need for support for DVA which falls below the threshold for criminal justice or specialist DVA service intervention. We conclude with recommendations for providing more inclusive and accessible relationships services.
This chapter argues for the need to make victimised lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGB and/or T) people visible within discussions of eligibility for ideal victim status. In considering two examples of victimisation the authors consider why LGB and/or T people can more easily access an ideal victim status when victimised by hate than is possible for those victimised by (or enacting) DVA. The contrasting examples demonstrate that LGB and/or T individuals’ status as ideal victims (or offenders) is tenuous and dependent on the type of victimisation experienced. In both cases, the importance of raising awareness, countering victim-blaming and building trust and accessibility of support services is critical to improve responses to LGB and/or T people.