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LGBTQIA community faces abuse amid lockdown extension

ANI | Updated: Apr 17, 2020 23:40 IST


New Delhi [India], April 17 (ANI): For many people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community, the extended national lockdown has come at an additional cost of continuous torment often at the hands of family members.
Cornered and constantly faced with emotional and physical abuses at home, many have resorted to secretly dialling for help from NGOs working for the queer community.
Nazariya, an NGO working with people who identify as lesbian, gays, bisexuals and trans people, said that the lockdown situation has been hard for the community people as they are constantly receiving verbal and physical abuse from families.
A counsellor from the NGO said that they have been able to provide counselling through phone calls and receives 7-8 calls a week since the time lockdown started.
"They are on continuous policing and surveillance at home. Homophobic comments are passed on them. They are asked to not wear particular clothes. The way they speak is also censored apart from verbal and physical abuse," the counsellor told ANI.

"They are said that relatives and neighbours talk about them and when they try to defend themselves many times they are subjected to physical abuse," the counsellor added.
On being asked how it was helping the victims, the NGO said the counselling is being provided to them on the phone due to lockdown.
"We suggest them not to indulge in any kind of verbal spat with family members or don't respond to them. This way they may avoid physical abuse upon themselves," the counsellor added.
Citing a recent incident, the counsellor said that a few days ago a call was received about domestic violence and the transman said that he was being constantly asked that he is a girl and should behave that way.
In another incident, a graduate student, who is lesbian and lives with her parents, said she is being constantly monitored as her parents are working from home during the lockdown. They are monitoring her activities all the time and passing comments.
To help improve their condition, Nazariya said that it has started a weekly LGBT meet through video conferencing in which the NGO members and LGBT people have in-person discussions. LGBT people also showcase their art and music performances. (ANI)

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