Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Kishonna L. Gray

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Kristie R. Blevins

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Victoria E. Collins

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has garnered a lot of attention by the criminal justice system, the media and, academia. Intimate partner violence laws have seen drastic changes over the past hundred years often coupled with the changes of culture and society. Though intimate partner violence surely warrants that attention, the growing and important issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) intimate partner violence has largely been ignored. The ongoing struggle of LGBTQ community for equality has not as of yet been a catalyst for drastic legal change. Utilizing narratives from victims of intimate partner violence from around the nation, this paper hopes to prove that the police and criminal justice system have failed to provide protective measures to victims of LGBTQIPV. That this failure is not solely from personal biases of the everyday police officer but more importantly from the institutional and societal. By using a Institutional ethnography, which is rooted in the mapping of social interactions of rules of governance, these victim narratives will show the system of oppression and marginalization that creates these harsh realities for LGBTQ victims and promotes their continued victimization. The five prevailing themes, 1) Violence; 2) Lack of police response; 3) gender roles; 4) fear of outing or deportation; and 5) services provided, found in the qualitative data will be contextualized and explained. Parallels to the broader fight for equality of the LGBTQ community the potential solutions, will also be discussed.