Domestic violence is widely acknowledged as a serious problem. However, few people are aware that the incidence of violence in lesbian relationships is as frequent as in heterosexual relationships. Various research indicates the occurrence of inter-partner violence in one out of every four or five lesbian couples. In late 2006 COC Nijmegen invited us to make a documentary about violence in lesbian relationships. To provide the material for the film we interviewed five people. Two were victims of violence in lesbian relationships, one is a researcher and two are professionals who work in this field. Lisette works in a refugee shelter and Sandra treats perpetrators of violence who have come into conflict with the law, or have been convicted.
The documentary highlights two themes, the difficulties that professionals have with recognising violence in lesbian relationships and the difficulty that victims have in accessing healthcare and legal support. The documentary was first distributed on a small scale, but interest has snowballed and now there are two organisations that use the documentary as a tool to train professionals on a national level in Holland.
Because of privacy reasons, we will not show the entire interviews with the victims, online.