Date of Award

5-1-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

Department

Social Work Policy Planning and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Joyce Goosby

Second Advisor

Dr. Vimala Pillari

Third Advisor

Dr. Bettye M. Clark

Abstract

This is a study of relationship abuse patterns among lesbians that abuse substances. Victims of domestic violence usually do not report the crime, especially lesbian victims. Traditionally, societal norms identify domestic violence as being between a male and a female. Therefore, information describing the lesbian victim demographics and rate of occurrences are limited. Many lesbian do not go to the police because they do not feel they will be taken seriously since the abuser is another woman. In addition, some lesbians are afraid of being judged because of their lifestyle or because of the psychological affects the abuse has caused them; they feel that their situation is not serious. The lesbian population is underrepresented in domestic violence statistics. This study explores the physical, emotional, sexual relationship abuse, the prevalence of dominant and femme lesbian abuse patterns and the effects of substance abuse as it relates to domestic violence.

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