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Three quarters of LGBT women in Hong Kong have experienced domestic violence

Patrick Kelleher August 12, 2018
Hong Kong Pride

A Pride parade in Hong Kong. (AARON TAM/AFP/Getty Images)

A new survey has found that three quarters of LGBT+ women in Hong Kong have experienced some form of domestic violence.

The survey polled 216 people who identified as either lesbian, bisexual, pansexual or transgender women, with 77.8% reporting having experienced domestic violence.

Participants carry a large flag as they take part in a Gay Pride procession in Hong Kong on November 10, 2012. As anti-discrimination laws continues to expand globally, the participant marched to promote equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty

It also found that many were reluctant to seek help from police or social welfare authorities. Just 22% of the women who had experienced domestic violence had sought help from police or social welfare officials, citing dissatisfaction with how well authorities deal with their cases.

The survey was conducted by non-profit group Les Corner Empowerment, and asked women about three types of domestic violence: physical, psychological and sexual.

One fifth of the respondents said they had experienced all three forms of domestic violence.

The highest incidence of abuse reported was psychological, with 70.8% of women surveyed saying they had been the victim of this form of abuse. This included receiving threats from their partners about committing suicide or revealing their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The second highest was physical abuse, with 46.3% reporting having been physically pushed, attacked or threatened with sharp objects by a partner.

23.6% reported having been sexually abused or harassed.

Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images

The findings suggest that rates of domestic violence among female sexual minorities in Hong Kong are much higher than expected, and that women are unlikely to report these incidents.

The Social Welfare Department in Hong Kong only received nine cases of abuse among same-sex cohabitants last year.

One woman spoke at a press conference about her experiences, and said that both partners in a relationship can be victims of domestic violence.

“My partner was very emotionally unstable, not only wold she throw things at me, she would also inflict pain on herself,” the woman said, according to the South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, a report released last month suggested that there is now more support than ever before for same-sex marriage in Hong Kong, with 50.4% of those surveyed expressing support. This was up from 38% in 2013.

However, same-sex marriage has not yet been introduced. Last month, a Hong Kong politician, Dominic Lee, suggested that equal marriage in the US and the UK was making more people gay.

More: Asia, China, domestic violence, Hong Kong

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