Despite the misconception that intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) is exclusive to heterosexual relationships, studies have shown that IPVA also occurs in same gender relationships. Adopting Johnsons’ typology (1995, 2006), the study explores narratives of IPVA, and its appropriateness as an explanatory framework in a conservative and restrictive environment.
Using narrative inquiry, semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine (9) cisgender adults on their experiences of IPVA in same-gender relationships in Trinidad and Tobago. To analyse participants’ narratives thematic narrative analysis was used.
Participants had varied and nuanced experiences of IPVA in their relationships. Three types of stories emerged through our analysis: (1) narratives of control and violence, (2) narratives of resistance to control and violence, (3) narratives of conflict and violence. While narratives demonstrated themes in Johnson’s typology, variations of these themes were found. Narratives of coercive control varied in frequency and severity, the use of emotional violence and the presence of LGB + specific risk markers. Narratives of conflict and violence highlighted unidirectional and bidirectional forms of violence that were often related to the restrictive and conservative environments in which individuals exist.
The results of this study provide a groundwork for the examination of IPVA within the LGB + community. The findings can help further our understanding of the complexities of IPVA in same-gender relationships in the Caribbean context and lay the groundwork for future research.