Dangerous Myths About Domestic Violence

The arrest of WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson sparked a much needed discussion around shortcomings within the fields of domestic violence theory and practice. In her article, The dangerous myths about domestic violence that are putting LGBTQ people at risk, Eesha Pandit notes how the narrow empahsis on "battered women" has marginalized victims, perpetrators, and relationships that fall outside of the heteronormative mold. Pandit urges readers to seriously examine myths such as those she outlines below in order to more effectively help those struggling with domestic violence.

Myths rooted in gendered assumptions about controlling and violent behavior--while having particularly devestating outcomes for LGBTQ folks--harm all victims of domestic violence by rendering certian victims and certain forms of violence invisible.

For those of us whose relationships don’t fit a heteronormative script, our communities and institutions fail us when we need support, when we need to be seen the most. Traditional, and woefully limited, perspectives about who can be a perpetrator and who’s more likely to be a victim do a great disservice to queer and trans people. Assumptions that perpetrators are male, more masculine, physically bigger/taller/heavier, and that women who are smaller, or more “feminine” (defined by a very narrow definition of femininity) are more likely to be victims, create lazy assessments of relationships where violence can be emotional and have severe psychological and social consequences (threatening to out someone, for example), as well as physical ones.

Pandit's full article can be accessed here