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Domestic violence and sexualityWhat’s love got to do with it?$
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Catherine Donovan and Marianne Hester

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307433

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307433.001.0001

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What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it?

Chapter:
(p.121) FIVE What’s love got to do with it?
Source:
Domestic violence and sexuality
Author(s):

Catherine Donovan

Marianne Hester

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307433.003.0005

This chapter discusses how practices of love are implicated in relationships characterised by DVA and how these practices of love reflect and interact with dominant ideas, expectations and beliefs about heterosexual intimacy. Evidence suggests that two relationship rules operate in DVA relationships: the relationship is for the abusive partner and on their terms; the victim/survivor is responsible for the care of the abusive partner, and the relationship. These rules reflect heteronormative ideas about gender: masculinity associated with setting the terms for relationship and femininity associated with caring. Rules are established through practices of love enacted by both partners in ways that confuse recognition of DVA. Thus abusive partners enact behaviours associated with both masculinity (making key decisions) and femininity (expressing need and neediness); and victim/survivors enact behaviours associated with femininity (providing care and nurture) and masculinity (being responsible for the abusive partner/relationship and feeling emotionally stronger.

Keywords:   DVA relationship rules, practices of love, gender norms, femininity, masculinity, expressing need/neediness, setting terms for relationships, being responsible for abusive partners, emotional strength

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