Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Jenkins, Pamela

Second Advisor

Luft, Rachel E.

Third Advisor

Compton, D'Lane


An extensive review of the existing literature makes apparent that academics who study intimate partner violence focus primarily on physical violence in heterosexual relationships. Non-physical forms of abuse receive secondary attention, despite reported claims from survivors that non-physical forms of abuse are more common, more painful, and have longer lasting effects than physical forms of abuse. The dominant focus on intimate partner violence as a social problem enacted by males on their female partners results in a lack of sufficient literature or conversation pertaining to abuse that exists outside these parameters. Members of sexual minority groups are deliberately excluded from the mainstream movement to protect and support survivors of intimate partner violence. Influenced by these realizations, this research explores the dynamics of non-physical forms of intimate partner violence in lesbian relationships; particularly the ways survivors frame the abuse and their experiences with seeking help.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.