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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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Barriers to help-seeking: the gap of trust

Barriers to help-seeking: the gap of trust

(p.157) SIX Barriers to help-seeking: the gap of trust
Domestic violence and sexuality

Catherine Donovan

Marianne Hester

Policy Press

This chapter argues that socio-cultural factors, including the impact of the public story of DVA and practices of love, explain why so few LGBTQ victim/survivors seek formal sources of help. Important differences in help-seeking were found between same sex and heterosexual contexts of DVA, and by gender in relation to same sex DVA. The legacy of the heterosexual assumption is that LGBTQ people expect to be self-reliant and/or to draw on informal and private sector sources of help. Counsellors and therapists were the most popular formal source of support for victim/survivors in same sex relationships. Gay men were more likely to access health services. Generally there is a gap of trust between victim/survivors of DVA and mainstream agencies wherein the former do not expect a positive response from the latter. The small minority who reported to the police did so because they experienced an escalation in the DVA against them.

Keywords:   LGBTQ DVA help-seeking, heterosexual assumption, gap of trust, informal sources of DVA help, formal sources of DVA help, escalation in DVA

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