Lesbian relationships are always fair and equal
MYTH! While gender-based power dynamics may not be the same in lesbian relationships, there may be other dynamics at work (racism, lesbophobia, biphobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, etc.). Unfortunately, violence in lesbian relationships is often kept behind closed doors and seldom discussed, which helps to perpetuate this myth. Acknowledging violence in lesbian relationships is an important first step toward supporting victims/survivors in our communities.
Only men are violent in romantic/intimate relationships
MYTH! People of any gender can be abusive in their relationship(s).
Violence in intimate relationships is a straight people’s problem!
MYTH! Violence in gay and lesbian relationships is a very real and well-documented phenomenon in scientific research. Some of the issues may be different from those in heterosexual couples, but violence is still violence.
Jealousy is proof of love
MYTH! Although it’s not unusual to feel jealousy in romantic or intimate relationships, this is not a demonstration of love. When jealousy is used to control your partner (e.g. preventing them from seeing their friends or going out, demanding access to their social media, etc.), it is a form of violence. Violence is not love!
Violence in an intimate/love relationship is easy to spot
MYTH! Some forms of abuse are more subtle and difficult to detect, such as psychological abuse. Certain types of psychological abuse, such as gaslighting, can cause the victim/survivor to doubt their reality. Read more about gaslighting...
There’s no such thing as physical or sexual violence in lesbian relationships
MYTH! Physical or sexual violence, like any type of violence, can happen in lesbian relationships. Just like in any other relationship (heterosexual, gay), one or more forms of violence can be perpetrated by a loving/intimate partner, and physical or sexual violence may be among them.
There are very few services available and suitable for those experiencing violence in a lesbian relationship.
FACT! Most victim services address domestic violence from the perspective of violence committed by men against women. This approach fails to recognize the experiences of people in lesbian relationships. However, more and more services for victims/survivors are being adapted to LGBTQ+ realities.
Partners can be unintentionally violent
FACT! Abusive behaviour is still abusive and has consequences, whatever the intention behind it.