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Layers of Shame: The Impact of Shame in Lesbian and Queer Victim-Survivors' Accounts of Violence and Help-seeking
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6293-6398
2023 (English)In: Journal of family Violence, ISSN 0885-7482, E-ISSN 1573-2851, article id s10896023006263Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Purpose The journey from shame to pride has been described as a founding and essential part of the modern LGBTQ movement. However, the tendency to treat shame as something that belongs to the past has been criticized by a number of queer theorists. The struggle to secure equal rights through normalization has also meant that certain topics that risk demonizing and stigmatizing LGBTQ people further have been neglected. Intimate partner violence (IPV) in queer relationships is one such topic. This paper explores a new perspective on queer shame through the topic of IPV in lesbian and queer relationships.

Methods Drawing on qualitative interviews with 25 people who have experienced violence in intimate lesbian/queer relationships in Sweden, this paper unpacks the concept of shame in empirical data to examine how shame operates on different levels when it comes to victimization and how it affects the help-seeking processes of such victim-survivors.

Results Many of the interviewees expressed that they continued to feel ashamed about their denial of violence or their own reactions to the abuse even years after the relationship had ended. An additional layer of shame and secrecy affected the violence and help-seeking processes for the interviewees' who lacked support from their social networks or who were not open about being in a queer relationship. The interviewees' accounts also contained strategies to resist and manage shame.

Conclusions The theoretical and empirical contributions of this paper sheds new light on how shame, victimization and queerness are entangled in the case of IPV.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2023. article id s10896023006263
Keywords [en]
Shame, IPV, LGBTQ, Help-seeking, Violence, Victim-survivors, Queer (4-8 words)
National Category
Gender Studies Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-510967DOI: 10.1007/s10896-023-00626-3ISI: 001053682400002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-510967DiVA, id: diva2:1794802
Available from: 2023-09-06 Created: 2023-09-06 Last updated: 2023-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Ovesen, Nicole

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