Awareness program on LGBTQ, FSW,PLHIV held at Vimukti Pothnal:

Vimukti Charitable trust®, Pothnal with the collaboration Aptha mithra development organization, Sindhnoor jointly organized awareness program on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) ,female sex worker, and people living with HIV on 16th of June 2018 at Vimukti premises. The objective of the program was to make known the struggles of LGBTQ, female sex worker and people living with HIV people face in the society for their existence.

The resource person Sri Madhu said, as a community, LGBTQ people face higher rates of poverty, stigma, and marginalization, which put us at greater risk for sexual assault. We also face higher rates of hate-motivated violence, which can often take the form of sexual assault. Moreover, the ways in which society both hyper sexualizes LGBTQ people and stigmatizes our relationships can lead to intimate partner violence that stems from internalized homophobia and shame. Yet, as a community, we rarely talk about how sexual violence affects us or what our community’s unique needs are when it comes to preventing sexual assault and supporting and caring for survivors of sexual violence. Within the LGBTQ community, transgender people and bisexual women face the most alarming rates of sexual violence. Among both of these populations, sexual violence begins early, often during childhood.

For LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault, their identities – and the discrimination they face surrounding those identities – often make them hesitant to seek help from police, hospitals, shelters or rape crisis centers, the very resources that are supposed to help them. This awareness program provided the participants as eye opening session to understand the life tussles they undergo for their survival in the society. Nearly 98 participants participated and benefited from this program.

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