Every resource about domestic abuse is in agreement: abuse can happen in any kind of relationship — monogamous or polyamorous, lesbian, gay, or heterosexual.
But there seems to be something extra-hidden about abuse in queer relationships. Lesbians are coded as inherently egalitarian — after all, they’re both women, right? Both oppressed by the patriarchy? How can there be abuse if there’s no man present?
Lesbian relationships are not inherently different than other relationships, but social ideas that swirl around gender poison everything, including what we — and that means lesbians, too — expect or think about same-sex relationships. We expect women cannot abuse other women or men can be abused by other men (and trans people are never even considered in the narrative at all), essentially erasing those experiences from the dialogue. The baggage of gender roles overloads us so much, we can’t clearly identify behavior independent of our ideas about what women, or men, or people anywhere on the gender spectrum can or cannot do.