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Dr Catherine Donovan, Professor of Social Relations at the University of Sunderland, discusses help-seeking practices in domestically violent and abusive intimate LGBTQ relationships.
Dr Donovan will explore the help-seeking practices of those experiencing domestic violence and abuse (DVA) in relationships where at least one partner is lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans-identified. She explains 'We know DVA takes place in these relationships, victim/survivors and those who are violent/abusive are not very visible in mainstream agencies. Placing the voices of those involved at the centre of the analysis the presentation will explore how broader social, cultural and political factors shape and influence help-seeking practices. This approach will draw on the work of Wright Mills (1957) on the sociological imagination, who argues that being able to grasp the relationship between the individual biography and the history of the society in which they live is key to making sense of human behaviours. This approach necessarily requires us to consider humans as sociable and connected/connecting to their immediate networks and localities as well as being part of much broader socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. Intersectional approaches provides a framework for keeping these connections at the forefront of our analysis, recognising and researching the multiple identities individuals inhabit as they negotiate their everyday lives. In conclusion recommendations challenge: the ways in which intimate and family relationships are constructed as private and self-sufficient; the lack of inclusive sex and relationships education that considers relationships, consent, and skills in relationships conversation and ‘working things out’; and the role/importance of friends and family more broadly in shaping relationships and help-seeking practices.'
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