Today we’d like to share some information about minority groups and Intimate Partner Violence, written by one of our contributors, Whitney Akers. Many members of communities of color, people with disabilities, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTIQ) community, and older adults face barriers to reporting violence and accessing support services. Why? Unfortunately, another layer of stigma if often placed on them or their community if they report. Here are some quotes from survivors in our research study:
“Because I'm deaf, everything had to be my fault. Because the others couldn't communicate with me without an interpreter, the burden was upon me to communicate...and my partner was the interpreter. She wouldn't let me request a neutral interpreter for our counseling sessions, etc…The few times I tried to talk with our priest or our counselor, (I experienced stigma in their assumption that) it was not possible—‘my partner was hearing, she loved me, I was deaf and somehow therefore to blame, I misunderstood’.”
Another survivor in the LGBTIQ community shared her experience which was also shaped by her career and the lack of a safe space to be open about her sexuality,
“It was never actually classified as domestic violence for two reasons: 1, because Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was still in place in the military at the time, so I couldn't tell anyone we were dating much less that she was abusing me, and 2, and I think this is still the case, the military Uniform Code of Military Justice defines domestic violence as something that can only happen between opposite sex couples.”
Immigrant populations face unique challenges to reporting violence and seeking legal help due to barriers such as fear of deportation, unawareness of support sources, language barriers, and diverse family dynamics. The following article from the Washington Post further describes this. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/for-immigrant...
In fact, in order to study this more, See the Triumph is conducting a new research study on immigrants’ perceptions of IPV, stigma, and culture, which you can learn more about here http://www.seethetriumph.org/1/post/2013/11/new-s...
We invite you to share the article and call for research participants in an effort to reach out and support those you know who might be facing this double stigma of IPV. We can’t do it without you.
-Christine and Allison, Co-founders, See the Triumph campaign