In this podcast we are joined by Associate Professor of Criminology at The University of New South Wales, Michael Salter, to discuss sexual violence in GBQ relationships.
In recent podcasts we have discussed the issue of consent, and decided to revisit this because we thought it would be interesting and useful to explore this in the context of GBQ relationships.
Research has highlighted that consent, or rather the lack of it, can lie behind intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
Those who participated in the research, openly in many cases, revealed that in relationships they had been subjected to unwanted or non-consensual sexual acts on the part of their partner, for example, against a backdrop of substance or alcohol misuse. Sometimes violence is used or threatened and examples were also given of blackmail. Coercion through a threat of “outing”, or the use of controlling behaviour was also identified.
Some of those who took part in the research thought that some of these behaviours might be acceptable in some situations, which begs concerning questions in relation to insight and informed consent.
The research revealed that some who had experienced sexual violence considered that was a degree of normality, which might possibly arise from the understanding that for many, violence and coercion was common. Conversely there was a widespread understanding that violence was unacceptable and illegal.
The research suggests that there needs to be a far more open discussion about respectful relationships and consent. This of course applies to society as whole but in the GBQ context there is clearly an openness to explore and understand very personal issues and needs, which in fact go far beyond the individual.
Listeners and readers in Australia may obtain further information concerning access to advice and support at the following: www.sayitoutloud.org.au/