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Intimate Partner Violence Among Sexual Minority Women: A Scoping Review

Porsch LM, Xu M, Veldhuis CB, Bochicchio LA, Zollweg SS, Hughes TL.

Trauma, Violence, & Abuse

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is prevalent among sexual minority women (SMW). However, compared to IPV research with heterosexual women and other LGBTQ+ population groups, SMW are understudied. We conducted a scoping review to examine the current state of knowledge about IPV among SMW, and to identify gaps and directions for future research. A search of Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO databases returned 1,807 papers published between January 2000 and December 2021. After independent reviewers screened these papers for relevance, 99 were included in the final review. Papers were included if they used quantitative methods and reported IPV data on adult SMW separately from other groups. Findings confirmed high rates of IPV among SMW and highlighted groups with particular vulnerabilities, including non-monosexual women and SMW of color. Risk factors for IPV in this population include prior trauma and victimization, psychological and emotional concerns, substance use, and minority stressors. Outcomes include poor mental and physical health. Findings related to the effects of minority stressors on IPV and comparisons across sexual minority groups were inconsistent. Future research should focus on IPV perpetration; mechanisms underlying risk for IPV, including structural-level risk factors; and understanding differences among SMW subgroups.

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