Based on a nationwide study of violence in lesbian relationships, this comprehensive, accessible volume derives from a common theme expressed by the subjects: the sense of having been betrayed, first by their lovers, and subsequently by a lesbian community which tends to deny the problem when victims seek help. Claire M. Renzetti skillfully addresses several central issues: consequences for victims, batterers and the community as a whole, and what we can learn about domestic violence in general by studying violence in lesbian relationships. The research offers a fresh look at domestic violence by examining the phenomenon of women as perpetrators of intimate violence against women, at the same time making a clear distinction between battering and self-defense.
Students and professionals in victimology, gender studies, sociology, psychology, criminology, social work, clinical psychology, counseling, and family studies will not want to miss this brilliant work.
"Violent Betrayal is an important contribution to domestic violence research and to the study of lesbian relationships. The study's findings are immediately helpful to clinicians working with those battered in lesbian relationships and provides a deeper understanding of lesbian relationship dynamics. . . . Violent Betrayal dispels common myths about lesbian relationships that, sadly, both laypersons and those in the helping professions, possess."
--Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin
"Claire Renzetti's study represents a substantial contribution to understanding this underresearched population. Her recommendations for how services can be improved are essential reading for all service providers."
--Readings: A Journal of Reviews and
Commentary in Mental Health
"A compendium of research on lesbian battering, [Violent Betrayal] contains significant and surprising information about this ignored problem."
"One of the first--if not the first--to provide empirical data about a neglected subsample of the battering population, namely battered lesbians. . . . Both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data are used and are successfully integrated with the literature reviews and other information provided. This constitutes a unique contribution to the field of domestic violence research. It is well-written, and provides readable tables based on the data and illustrative quotes from interviews."
--Susan L. Miller, Northern Illinois University
"This is an important resource book for women who work with abused women and with lesbians. . . . This is a strong study--one of the first 'pure' sociological studies on lesbian battering. It begins to open the door on this painful issue that many in our community would like to avoid."
--Lambda Book Report
"A valuable tool for those in the field of family violence. . . . Claire Renzetti outlines the responses that would help victims of lesbian partner abuse, including specific outreach by family violence programs and ongoing education for their staff and education for medical, police, and other emergency workers. . . . Violent Betrayal is long-awaited and necessary information for those confronting this violence, containing both useful profiles of battering situations and pointers toward responses and further study."
--Gay People's Chronicle
"This book will be useful for those doing research on battering and other forms of violence against women, for therapists, and for use in courses on gender, on violence, and on links among theory, research, and practice. It provides rich reviews of relevant research, carefully reveals unexpected assumptions about battering, and provides directories of organizations that provide help. Moreover, Renzetti adds immensely to our knowledge by doing research in a neglected are. She contends that we must 'end the silence'; the book is a valuable sociological contribution to that goal."
"Renzetti's analysis is in the best traditions of both feminist research and mainstream social science. Thus, this research is inspired , and informed throughout, by a practical desire to do something about the problem of lesbian battering--there are 10 pages of resource listings . . . and an impressive model for 'providing help to battered lesbians.' . . . Renzetti's research goes a long way toward dispelling much of the mythology. In addition, it provides a foundation for feminist theorists interested in getting at the root of violence in Western/American societies."
--British Journal of Social Work
"Renzetti carefully negotiates the terrain between simply generalizing from heterosexual battery to lesbian battery, arguing that lesbian battery is unique. . . . Her research also uncovers a variety of myths and assumptions within the lesbian community that may prevent friends and therapists from responding to the woman as a battered woman. This book will be useful for those doing research on battering and other forms of violence against women, for therapists, and for use in courses on gender, on violence, and on links among theory, research, and practice. . . . Provides rich reviews of relevant research. . . . Reveals unexamined assumptions about battering. . . . Provides directories of organizations that provide help. . . . Moreover, Renzetti adds immensely to our knowledge by doing research in a neglected area. . . . A valuable sociological contribution."
--Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin Book Club