Violence against Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay people is a global issue. Health care providers are notorious for showing their bias and prejudice. Law enforcement and the judicial system is no better.
Many Transgender victims suffer in silence feeling there is no hope from the police or from most medical "professionals."
Prejudices sometimes affect care of gays, lesbian, transgender and intersexual victims of violent crimes
Conference » Gay, lesbian, transgender, intersexual victims may not get adequate care.
By Erin Alberty
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 04/21/2010 07:35:28 PM MDT
In one rape case, forensic nurse Rachel Jenkins arrived at the hospital to be told nothing of the victim except "He's a flamboyant one."
In another, a doctor refused to perform an examination because the victim was gay.
"It's called 'the second rape,'" Jenkins said Wednesday in a seminar on serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual victims of sexual and domestic violence.
The seminar is part the annual Crime Victims' Conference, which concludes today in downtown Salt Lake City.
Victims may go without adequate care -- or justice -- when they are viewed through "straight goggles," Jenkins said.
"That's ... when you assume everyone you meet is heterosexual until they tell you otherwise," she said.
That prejudice can stand in the way of services for victims who already may be isolated by unique threats and stigmas, said Hildegard Koenig, a victim's advocate with the Utah Domestic Violence Council.
"They could lose their jobs, they could lose housing, they could lose their children because they don't have legal rights," Koenig said.
Assault is believed to be drastically underreported among gay victims, who may fear being outed, revictimized or seen as betraying the gay community -- fears that also may be leveraged by abusers to control their victims, Koenig said.
Once they seek help, the challenges can range from shelter -- men's or women's -- to caseworker discomfort about discussing the victim's sex life.
Responders should try not to let their interview language alienate victims, Koenig and Jenkins urged. Referring to sexual orientation as a "lifestyle" may come off as dismissive, Jenkins said. Know that some victims embrace the word "queer," while others consider it to be a slur.
"Use whatever pronoun they give you -- he, she ... or ze," Jenkins added, referring to a gender-neutral pronoun some victims may use. "If they call their partner 'wife,' match their language."
Guests at the conference were urged not to fixate on a victims sexual identity but rather the details of the case.
"If you treat [victims] as humans, everything else will fall into place, Jenkins said.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Posted by De Sube at 4/22/2010 02:32:00 PM