A Comprehensive Literature Review of Intimate Partner Violence in the LGBT+ Community and Mandatory Arrest Laws
From physical assault to intimidation, domestic/intimate partner violence (DV/IPV) is a phenomenon that plagues partners around the world. With serious ramifications like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and homicide, among others, DV/IPV poses a threat to the health and well-being of individuals engaged in abusive relationships. It is for this reason that second wave feminists made it a part of their agenda fight for legislation that would protect battered women. Encouraged by the second wave feminists, researchers began studying DV/IPV and the most effective ways to address and combat violent relationships. With the help of research, activism, and landmark court cases, many states have decided upon mandatory arrest laws as the preferred method for handling situations of DV/IPV. While there is a great deal of research that has been conducted on DV/IPV and on mandatory arrest laws, this research seldom extends to DV/IPV in the LGBT+ community. Even more concerning, research on how mandatory arrest laws affect LGBT+ individuals locked in abusive relationships is practically non-existent. Using 25 different sources, I have conducted a literature review that examines the existing literature surrounding mandatory arrest laws, DV/IPV, and DV/IPV in the LGBT+ community. I furthermore utilized the theory of intersectionality, to lay out how DV/IPV in the LGBT+ community differs from DV/IPV among heterosexual couples. This literature review details the history of DV/IPV legislation, identifies the social and structural barriers facing LGBT+ individuals experiencing DV/IPV, and lays out ways that researchers, law enforcement, advocates, and political actors can better equip themselves to help LGBT+ victims of DV/IPV.