Home > News > More calls to report threats to LGBTQI since Sec 377 decriminalisation, show data | India News

More calls to report threats to LGBTQI since Sec 377 decriminalisation, show data | India News

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NEW DELHI: Two years since the Supreme Court judgment on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code decriminalising consensual sex between same sex persons, the LGBTQI community is seized with a growing threat — the fear of being “outed” by those who want to name and shame them but cannot use Section 377 to silence them anymore.
The crisis helplines of voluntary organisation Humsafar Trust, one of the organisations at the forefront of the movement calling for decriminalisation of the section, tell the story of the emerging crisis.
An analysis of the over 1,000 calls on the Delhi and Mumbai helplines of Humsafar Trust and the messages on WhatsApp, social media and emails shows that reporting of violence and blackmailing has increased since the decriminalisation and that lack of acceptance of diverse sexual and gender identities is leading to increased violence and harassment both within the family and in the hands of society.
The helpline is also getting cases of intimate partner violence among same sex couples where they have no legal recourse under the existing laws like the Domestic Violence Act.
The lockdown also proved to be a big challenge as a lot of LGBTQI people were at home with their family members and the family learnt about their sexual identity. In such cases, callers reported facing violence. The Trust came across a case where a transwoman was forced to live like a man in her home. The Humsafar Trust also highlighted cases of harassment by landlords during lockdown.
Yashwinder Singh, director policy, Humsafar Trust, saidd, “Certainly, the decriminalisation of Section 377 has helped the community collect courage to report cases. People have called to say they wanted to file cases against their excolleagues for discrimination, abuse and blackmailing that happened prior to the SC verdict,” he added. Earlier, around 300 cases were received in a year on an average, but between September 2018 to now 1,002 calls for help were received. Out of the total cases, 340 relate to discrimination in healthcare facilities, by landlord, family and workplace. As many as 270 cases were about harassment and violence faced at the hands of family, friends, workplace, partner and police. There were 180 calls related to blackmailing, including those on gay dating apps and 92 cases of extortion. Also there were 23 cases related to revenge “outing” of the person to family or on social media platforms.

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