New project on partner and sexual violence in rainbow communities

Image: Pixabay

A new project which aims to prevent partner violence and sexual violence within rainbow communities has launched a website.

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura - Outing Violence focuses on building Rainbow communities in Aotearoa New Zealand free of partner and sexual violence.

The website includes an anonymous, confidential survey. The survey aims to find out what violence prevention and intervention services are currently working for rainbow communities and what else rainbow communities might need. The survey asks questions about people's relationships, whether or not people have experienced violence, what help people received and whether it worked. It is open to anyone over 16 identifying as akava’ine, asexual, bisexual, fa’afafine, fakaleiti, FtM, gay, gender fluid, gender-neutral, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, gender variant, hinehi, hinehua, intersex, lesbian, mahu, MtF, non-binary, palopa, pansexual, polysexual, queer, questioning, rae rae, tangata ira tane, Takatapui, tongzhu, trans man, trans woman, transfeminine, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, vaka sa lewa lewa or whakawahine and more. People do not have to have experienced violence to complete the survey.

The website also provides:

  • Factsheets for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans and intersex survivors
  • Information on "phobias and -isms": some of the ways homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, cissexism, heterosexism, monosexism and transmisogyny can impact on violence within rainbow communities
  • Information for people who know someone who is experiencing or using violence and want to help
  • Information on how to stay safe leaving an abusive relationship
  • Definitions of sexual and partner violence
  • Information about consent

Project Manager Sandra Dickson said talking about violence could be frightening for people in rainbow communities. She said "We are used to being told there’s something wrong with how we love anyway. But it’s important to name these kinds of violence – if we don’t, we let survivors down. Because most information at the moment is squarely aimed at men’s violence towards women, some of the ways violence happens in rainbow relationships gets missed. Trans people having hormones withheld by partners using violence for example, or biphobic ideas about promiscuity being used to justify jealous and controlling behavior."

Ms Dickson said collecting information is a critical part of the project. She said "One thing the rainbow community doesn’t do very much at the moment is call the police, for a whole range of reasons. Which means violence against us isn’t getting counted. Right now, there is not one specialist service in New Zealand which can support all kinds of takatapui, queer, trans and gender diverse people."

The project is planning to hold community hui throughout the country in October 2015.

Te Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura - Outing Violence is supported by an advisory group with members from a diverse range of takatāpui, queer and trans* community organisations.

The project is funded by the It's Not OK campaign. The fundholder is Ara Taiohi, a peak body for the youth sector and administrator of the Queer/Trans* Grants.

Further research and resources

The It's Not OK campaign and RainbowYOUTH, along with community partner organisations, recently collaborated to update a resource on healthy relationships for sexuality and gender diverse communities. The resource, plus links to research and resources on partner and sexual violence in rainbow communities, are available in this previous Clearinghouse story.

Media

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura - Outing Violence, Press Release: Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura, Scoop, 10.12.2015

Travelling hui talks violence in diverse relationships, Stuff, 28.10.2015

Outing violence in our communities, GayNZ, 08.09.2015

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura – Outing Violence Press Release, Scoop, 08.09.2015