How sexual assault survivors can feel in control during cervical screenings

ABC Life By Kellie Scott / 12th August 2020
Kate* avoids cervical screenings.The 34-year-old from Sydney is a survivor of sexual assault and finds the physical examination re-traumatising.

Kate’s experience is not unique.

One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. And research shows those who have experienced sexual abuse, either as adults or children, are less likely to attend regular cervical screening.

New Resource for young LGBTIQA+ people

Victim Support Service, May 2020

The Rainbow Safety Guide is an informational wallet card that links LGBTIQ+ youth experiencing violence and abuse to online and phone resources. The Guide was made by and for LGBTIQ+ youth.


meet the artist/DESIGNER: India Potter (she/they is an Adelaide based young queer artist who does both digital and watercolour designs. Her art often portrays the queer community and aspects of LGBTIQ+ life. Both an artist and graphic designer, India created the art and designed the wallet card, taking special care to create art that was representative, colourful, but discreet enough that without the first page the Rainbow Safety Guide is less obviously a LGBTIQ+ resource.


This wallet sized Guide can be easily carried around by its user. It provides links to support services & information that may help them by:
• phone numbers
• online links
• QR codes

Due to the card’s small size it can be shared discreetly so as to not unintentionally “out” the recipient. If you are not in a position to physically give the card to someone, you can share this online link or our other LGBTIQ+ pages. The quick exit feature allows the reader to hide the page quickly if needed.

This wallet card will be valuable to services who work with youth, as well as individuals who know a young LGBTIQ+ person who they know or suspect is experiencing violence or abuse.

  • Read more at the VSS website here
  • To view or download the Rainbow Safety Guide card (PDF), click here
  • To request a physical copy email the VSS helpdesk at helpdesk@victimsa.org

 

Call for study participants: Image Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA) and its impact on LGBTQ individuals

University of Birmingham, May 2020

Image Based Sexual Abuse (IBSA) and the impact this has on the well-being of LGBTQ individuals

Image Based Sexual Abuse

This PhD study aims to explore LGBTQ individuals’ experiences of Image Based Sexual Abuse (also known as revenge pornography) on their mental health and well-being. The study is also interested in how much health and well-being organisations understand about IBSA and how easy it is for individuals to access services.

Victims of IBSA express symptoms of depression, anxiety and in some instances suicidal tendencies. This harmful impact can be felt in both the private and professional spheres for the victims. Internet users who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer (LGBTQ) are far more likely than those who identify as heterosexual to have experienced threats of or actual non-consensual image-sharing. However, the majority of the current body of research focuses on heterosexual women and there is little research that is aimed at the long-term implications this can have on LGBTQ individuals in regards to their mental health and well-being. All members of the team work in the School of Nursing/ School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. Dr Caroline Bradbury-Jones is the Principal PhD Supervisor for this study and is the Programme Lead for the Risk Abuse and Violence Research Programme within the School of Nursing. Dr Nicki Ward is a lecturer in social work and is a PhD Supervisor of this study. Mr Ronnie Meechan-Rogers is a senior lecturer within the school of nursing and is exploring this topic as part of his PhD studies.

If you are LGBTQ and have experienced IBSA we think that you could offer a great deal in helping us with the study.

Key researchers:

  • Dr Caroline Bradbury-Jones

  • Dr Nicki Ward

  • Mr Ronnie Meechan-Rogers

Read more or contact researchers here

 

Psychosocial mediators of perceived stigma and suicidal ideation among transgender women

Kota, K.K., Salazar, L.F., Culbreth, R.E. et al. Psychosocial mediators of perceived stigma and suicidal ideation among transgender women. BMC Public Health 20125 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-8177-z

Abstract

Background

Transgender women (TGW) in the U.S. experience high rates of stigma, depression, and elevated rates of suicide. This study examined correlates of suicidal ideation and estimated the conditional indirect effects of perceived stigma and psychosocial mediators on suicidal ideation.

Methods

Using a cross-sectional study design, TGW (N = 92) were recruited through snowball sampling in Atlanta, Georgia. Structured interviews were conducted. Suicidal ideation was assessed by combining two variables that measured suicidal thoughts. Logistic regression models were performed to identify the potential risk and protective factors for suicidal ideation. We examined hypothesized psychosocial factors, including anxiety, depression, psychosocial impact of gender minority status, and substance use behaviors as potential mediators for the relationship between perceived stigma and suicidal ideation. All models were controlled for age, race, education, and homelessness.

Results

Suicidal ideation was reported by 33% (N = 30) of the study participants. In multivariable analysis, suicidal ideation was associated with sexual abuse (AOR = 3.17, 95% CI = 1.10–9.30), anxiety (AOR = 1.74, 95% CI = 1.10–2.73), family verbal abuse (AOR = 2.99, 95% CI = 1.10–8.40), stranger verbal abuse (AOR = 3.21, 95% CI = 1.02–10.08), and psychosocial impact of gender minority status (AOR = 3.42, 95% CI = 1.81–6.46). Partner support was found to be the protective factor for suicidal ideation (AOR = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.13–0.90). In the mediation analysis, the psychosocial impact of gender minority status mediated the relationship between perceived stigma and suicidal ideation. The estimated conditional indirect effect was 0.46, (95% CI = 0.12–1.11).

Conclusion

Interventions that aim to reduce suicidal behaviors among TGW should address stigma, psychosocial imfamilpact of gender minority status, and different forms of violence and abuse.

Towards a Safe Place: Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in LGBTIQA+ Communities (resource)

Catalyst Foundation, 2019

The Towards a Safe Place project has created resources for LGBTIQA+ communities to use both as individuals or in communities to support and inform at risk individuals of available services and supports in relation to Domestic Violence and to increase awareness and understanding of Domestic Violence and its impact within LGBTIQA+ communities.

We have worked closely with LGBTIQA+ communities to develop these resources and are thankful for the help and support of our Reference Group comprising individuals, community organisations and service providers who have helped us in the development of these resources.

We hope the resources are used to inform and support at risk individuals and the wider community on LGBTIQA+ specific Domestic Violence and that service providers use the resources to continually develop and improve service responses and avenues for reporting domestic violence.

Training in culturally appropriate LGBTIQA+ domestic violence service delivery and response strategies is available and has been developed in partnership with Uniting Communities Adelaide’s Bfriend Project and a local LGBTIQA+ social group Pride of the South. If your organisation would like information on the training please contact us on (08) 81688700 or by email 

The project was supported by South Australian Government Attorney-General’s  Department, Bfriend (Uniting Communities) and Pride of the South.

Resources to download:

 

‘My mob is telling their story and it makes me feel good’: here’s what Aboriginal survivors of child sexual abuse told us they need

The Conversation, October 22, 2019 6.00am AEDT

There are an estimated 60,000 survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in Australia. Based on the private sessions held as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 15% of survivors are Aboriginal. That suggests an estimated 9,000 Aboriginal survivors. This is likely an under estimation.

Not only do Aboriginal survivors experience the trauma of institutional child sexual abuse, if they were part of the Stolen Generations, they also experience the cultural trauma from being forcibly removed from family as children because they were Aboriginal. These children were denied connection to community, country, spirituality, language and culture.

This context and its impacts today, including ongoing disadvantage and systemic racism, needs to be understood in developing healing solutions for Aboriginal survivors.