"Relationships so loving and so hurtful": the constructed duality of sexual and racial/ethnic intimacy in the context of violence in Asian and Pacific Islander lesbian and queer women's relationships

Violence Against Women. 2013 Sep;19(9):1175-96. doi: 10.1177/1077801213501897.


Intimate partner violence (IPV) in Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian (APINH) queer women's and lesbian relationships was examined through interviews with 24 APINH respondents. Seven major themes were uncovered in the dynamics of intimate violence: (a) control, intimidation, and instilling fear; (b) "deep" emotional intimacy; (c) first, early, or rebound relationships; (d) sexual jealousy and possessiveness; (e) shame as a barrier; (f) limited social and potential partner networks; and (g) crossing/intersecting gender in the "butch" as victim. Study implications include expanding research on same-sex IPV focusing on the intersection of ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity.

Keywords: Asian Pacific Islander; domestic violence; lesbian.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian Americans*
  • Battered Women
  • Bullying
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Homosexuality, Female*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Jealousy
  • Middle Aged
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Shame
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Support
  • Spouse Abuse / ethnology*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology*
  • Young Adult