St. Thomas Law Review
1971 marked the genesis of the Battered Women's Movement and, since then, remarkable strides have been made to address and combat domestic violence. Today, for example, a myriad of domestic abuse agencies offer an array of services, including: 24-hour hotlines; counseling; safe houses; transitional living; children's services; life skills education; professional training; batterers' intervention; and legal assistance. These strides, however, cannot extirpate two ugly truths: domestic violence still pervades our society, and it afflicts more than those in heterosexual relationships. Anecdotal evidence and a growing body of literature indicate that domestic abuse is not unique to heterosexuals, but occurs in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships, as well. While it is true that heterosexual women are most often likely to experience intimate violence from their male partners, empirical data now suggests that those in same-sex relationships are proportionally as likely to experience violence in their relationships. Moreover, the patterns, modes, and effects of same-sex domestic violence appear to be virtually identical to heterosexual domestic violence.
Leonard D. Pertnoy, Same Violence, Same Sex, Different Standard: An Examination of Same-Sex Domestic Violence and the Use of Expert Testimony on Battered Woman's Syndrome in Same-Sex Domestic Violence Cases, 24 St. Thomas L. REV. 544 (2012).