Preferred Name

Darrian Pickett

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


School of Communication Studies


Melissa Alemán

Kathryn Hobson

Michael Broderick


This thesis is an autoethnographic exploration of my experience with same-sex intimate partner violence, the development of the abusive relationship itself, my journey to escape the abusive relationship, and the comfort that I found among my social networks after the abusive relationship ended. First, I provide a brief overview of intimate partner violence. Second, I describe autoethnographic methodology and my rationale for using narrative inquiry as a way to make sense of my experiences and to offer a concrete portrait into the lived experience of interpersonal violence and survivorship. In the narratives, I describe my experiences as a pastor’s kid, the development of a same-sex violent romantic relationships, the movement from shame and hiding to coming out to family and friends to seek help, and the kinds of social support I found afterward. The scholarly literature is weaved in between the narratives to create a conversation between my experiences and the ongoing scholarship on each topic and theme addressed. The thesis ultimately enabled me to examine and reflect on the complex experiences of IPV and social support that enables survivorship, ultimately contributing to the body of research on intimate partner violence.