The Malta Independent 7 May 2021, Friday

Awareness-raising campaign on same sex intimate partner violence launched

Thursday, 18 March 2021, 16:35 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Commission on gender-based violence and domestic violence shall be initiating another online awareness-raising campaign, this time about same-sex intimate partner violence (SSIPV) - #umanilkoll / #weareallhuman.

The aim of this campaign is to educate the general public about this phenomenon that is widely believed to be found exclusively among heterosexual couples. “Domestic violence occurs among same-sex and heterosexual individuals in intimate relationship when one person seeks to manipulate and control the other person, such that he or she gains and maintains absolute power in the relationship,” a statement by the Commission read.

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“Research abroad shows that 44% of lesbian women and about 61% of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence and stalking by an intimate partner, whereas the same applies to 35% of heterosexual women. 26% of gay men and 31% of bisexual men experience rape, violence and stalking by an intimate partner, as distinct from 29% of heterosexual men. “

Very often, LGBTIQ individuals refrain from reporting abuse by an intimate partner because they fear judgement and exposure, especially when they have not yet taken the decision to come out, the statement read.

“They also fear their experience will reflect badly on an already stigmatised community. Mistaken ideas about LGBTIQ individuals still abound in society, especially with regard to violence being held to be a ‘masculine’ attribute. This often results in people thinking that bisexual and lesbian women in intimate relationships are unlikely to be abusive or violent. Such stereotypes are not helpful to such women in recognising abuse and seeking help.”

“There is also the mistaken idea that two women in an intimate relationship cannot be violent towards one another, because women are perceived as having a calm and affectionate nature. The same applies for gay men in an intimate relationship, because of the widespread belief that such men are effeminate, and therefore cannot be violent.”

By means of this campaign the Commission on gender-based violence and domestic violence shall continue to educate and raise awareness about the myriad realities in which domestic violence can manifest itself. “It is a continuing endeavour to bring about a paradigm shift in our society such that the dignity of all persons is respected unconditionally. We encourage individuals experiencing violence in their relationship to seek help on 179 or to call Rainbow Support Services on 79430006.”

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