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Gay people unlikely to report intimate partner violence: expert

2019/06/14 18:30:58

Taipei, June 14 (CNA) It is possible that more that 90 percent of individuals subject to intimate partner violence in homosexual relationships in Taiwan do not seek help from government-run support networks, Fan Kuo-yung (范國勇), a former member of the Executive Yuan's Gender Equality Committee said Friday.

According to the World Health Organization, intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of violence and includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, as well as controlling behavior by an intimate partner.

Fan, who is currently CEO of the Modern Women's Foundation, made the statement at a forum held by the foundation and Taiwan LGBT Hotline Association, a non-profit LGBT rights advocate group, at National Taiwan University.

According to a 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, conducted by U.S. Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who self-identified as lesbian, gay, and bisexual reported rates of violence that were equal to or higher than those reported by self-identified heterosexuals.

A survey conducted by Modern Women's Foundation and Taiwan LGBT Hotline Association in 2013 also suggested that intimate partner violence among gay couples happens at a similar rate to that for heterosexual couples.

A survey conducted by Taiwan's top research institute Academia Sinica in 2012, found that the gay population in Taiwan is more than 4.4 percent of the population, Fan said.

Government data indicates 64,058 cases of intimate partner violence among heterosexual couples were reported in 2018, Fan said.

Based on the assumption of similar types of behavior we can hypothesize at least 2,000 cases of intimate partner violence among homosexual couples that year, Fan said.

However, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said only 597 cases of same-sex intimate partner violence were reported in 2018.

Based on those figures, more than 90 percent of homosexual victims of intimate partner violence do not seek help from government-run support networks, he concluded, highlighting the need to raise awareness about intimate partner violence in LGBT communities.

Also at the forum, Peng Chih-liu (彭治鏐), secretary-general of Taiwan LGBT Hotline Association said one form of intimate partner violence unique to the homosexual population is the threat from abusive partners to "out" the victim.

According to Peng, the types of violence in lesbian and gay relationships differ. Gays are more likely to stalk, harass and intimidate partners, while lesbians endure more verbal harassment from their their partners, he said.

Such behavior shows same-sex couples lack the social support to handle breakups in relationship properly, Peng said.

(By Chang Hsiung-feng and Chung Yu-chen)