“Violence against LGBT People is Explored Mostly at Enforcement Agencies and Families”. Experts
17.01.2017
12:00
Each representative in the LGBT community in Armenia is born and grows up in an intolerant society. Manifestations of discrimination and violations of the rights of LGBT people are mostly explored at enforcement agencies, family, media, state agencies, health sector, religious organizations, at work, educational institutions and entertainment venues.

Nare Hovhannisyan, Human Rights and Advocacy Programs’ Coordinator at “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO and Nane Bagratuni, Journalist, Researcher said this during the press conference at Media Center on January 17.

They presented "Discrimination demonstrations against LGBT persons - hate speech, gender stereotypes and forms of violation of human rights in Armenia" survey results conducted by "New Generation" Humanitarian NGO in 2016 and the report on discrimination, hate speech and calls for violence against LGBT people in online media.

Nare Hovhannisyan said that the research tasks and objectives were the same as their organization's goals - to reach vulnerable groups, in particular, equality of the rights of LGBTpersons, and the prevention of discrimination against them.

“We carry out trainings on awareness rising, provide legal consultancy to LGBT people and conduct similar research. This is the second survey conducted in this research program, which was implemented in 10 regions and Yerevan,” Hovhannisyan said. 

The first report referred to the words of hatred and discrimination against LGBT persons on the Internet.

“We made a report on discrimination, hate speech and calls for violence against LGBT people in online media in 2016. However, this report addresses the issue more in terms of the lack of protective mechanisms,” Hovhannisyan said.  

Nane Bagratuni, presenting "Discrimination demonstrations against LGBT persons - hate speech, gender stereotypes and forms of violation of human rights in Armenia" qualitative survey data, said that it was conducted in several focus groups: LGBT individuals, families, the representatives of health care system, human rights organizations, mass media, employees of state agencies, local self-governments, as well as individuals who demonstrate an active public activity and enforcement agencies.

“LGBT community is an integral part of the society in each country with its problems and stereotypes typical of that society. What I present now is the problem of the society today. All discussions, starting from the TV programs to personal conversations, go down to the level of personal insult and the conflict of interests and very often problems are not covered,” Bagratuni said.  

According to the study results, some forms of violence were observed at the enforcement agencies – physical, sexual, intolerance and hatred speeches, psychological pressure and unfair treatment.

“All manifestations are simultaneous at the enforcement agencies. For example, in the army, when it becomes known that a person is homosexual, psychological harassments start. He is isolated, they do not share a plate or a spoon. Participants of the survey often told us that based on the gender stereotype, young people are subjected to sexual violence, being confident that he was homosexual in his subtle gestures and at the same time a young man, having homosexual orientation serves in the army, hiding his sexuality and not being subjected to violence. In other words, the problem is much deeper and multipolar in all respects. We very often come across the lack of information. Young people, people who have been subjected to sexual violence, think that they became homosexuals instead of publicizing their case,” Bagratuni said.  

Speaking about media, she pointed out that there were only cases of intolerance, hatred, verbal and psychological abuse, which amounts to 90 percent.

"These are the mass media including social media. Unfortunately, there are violent manifestations full of hate swearing, psychological harassments, blackmail, etc. In terms of journalism, there is a serious drawback that a significant part of the journalistic materials contains no information, no evidence of tolerance or intolerance. So, the problem is not raised, instead of it unfounded hatred and violence are advocated," Bagratuni said.

According to the results of the study, the largest number of violence occurs in families after the enforcement agencies. In other words, when it is discovered that the son, brother or a family member is a homosexual, physical violence occurs.

 “Mainly males are subjected to beatings. Frequently they are forced to leave their homes, lose their ability to communicate with parents and face very serious psychological problems. Especially this problem promotes emigration,” Bagratuni said. 

Violence constitutes a small percentage in the state institutions. Here mostly transgender people are subjected to physical violence, according to the study results, when applying to state agencies for any documentation or legal issue. “Psychological violence are related mostly to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the health sector. The LGBT community or individuals are considered a group spreading STDs. Unfortunately, a very serious problem is the lack of awareness among the specialists starting the scientific books where homosexuality is considered a disease that should be treated,” Bagratuni said.

“Psychological violence are related mostly to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the health sector. The LGBT community or individuals are considered a group spreading STDs. Unfortunately, a very serious problem is the lack of awareness among the specialists starting the scientific books where homosexuality is considered a disease that should be treated,” Bagratuni said.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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