Sexual Harassment within the Lesbian Community

in Real Talk

By: Amber Logan

Within this current societal shift, brought about mostly by straight women coming forward with their stories of sexual misconduct and abuse, it has lead me to think about the prevalence of sexual misconduct within the lesbian community. I don’t have any personal experience of sexual misconduct or predation, but I have quite a few friends who have shared their own stories of abuse and misconduct.

From abusive studs to fems becoming stalkers and the use of emotional blackmail. I find myself questioning the mainstream narrative. Is the perceived absence of power as corrupting as absolute power? I believe so. It’s within this dichotomy that most predation thrives. So I began to wonder how many lesbians find themselves feeling powerless and as a result resort to violence or adverse behavior.

The numbers may be startling. Certain state laws prevent same sex couples from acquiring
domestic violence protective orders or DVPO’s. The statue in North Carolina for example defines “domestic violence” as the commission of certain acts by a party to a “personal relationship” so only individuals in a “personal relationship” are eligible for a DVPO. Same sex couples who are dating but not living together aren’t in a “personal relationship” as defined by some state statues therein lays the problem. The state can determine what a “personal relationship” is. The lesbian community is faced with a particular predicament. Some law enforcement may not take it a seriously as heterosexual violence and in the state of California a restraining order can cost $355. Unless physical abuse is present, this thwarts any preventive measures and enforces reactionary behavior which facilitates the
perpetuation of a vicious cycle of abuse, shame and helplessness.

The narrative will eventually expand its scope and encompass lesbian abuse as a important
issue. I’m optimistic as I look towards the future. We are in the middle of a cultural shift which can trace its roots back decades. Good milestones for the shifts in collective thought are the presidential elections. It is like a huge tsunami wave, it’s going to crash into the main land and then recede and reveal parts of the city that were structurally unstable and allow for reconstruction. The people are going to come together and rebuild as they do in the wake of any major natural disaster or terror attack. I look to this metaphor when I examine the state of our society.

In regards to sexual harassment in the lesbian community the metaphorical waves are crashing
on the mainland and soon the water will recede and damages will be assessed. It’s important to think of growth as something that has its peaks, valleys and plateaus. The process is as just as important if not more so than the destination. I’m hopeful as we have more state elections as a response to the current administration there will be an equal yet opposite shift towards a more unified country. As well as a society more inclined to look for preventive measures to deal with sexual harassment and violence.


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