The project LOOK WIDE focuses on developing a working method to support LGBTI victims of gender-based violence by integrating gender and sexual diversity into the work of professionals and services working with victims of gender-based violence.
LGBTI victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in the EU do not receive adequate support, resulting in the violation of their rights. The Victims’ Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) defines GBV as violence “directed at a person because of that person’s gender, gender identity or gender expression”. Gender, gender identity or expression and sexual orientation are also considered personal characteristics that should be taken into account in individual assessments of victims’ risks. Despite this binding obligation, Member States have not developed enough support services for victims of GBV which take into account the specific circumstances of LGBTI victims.
Support services are mainly directed to cisgender heterosexual women. Sexual diversity is not integrated in the working approaches of shelters and psychological, legal and career counselling services and, as a result, LGBTI people do not go to these services; or, when they do, they do not receive services adapted to their needs.
Other forms of GBV, such intimate partner violence or sexual violence against LGBTI people, among others, are seldom addressed and the few existing services only deal these partially, focusing only on same-sex relationships or specific target groups (e.g. LBT women); thus other LGTBI groups (trans men, intersex people) cannot rely on these support networks. On the whole, there is a lack of a comprehensive approach to GBV.
These deficiencies in support services and intervention professionals violate the rights of many EU citizens. Several studies on the experiences of violence of LGTBI people due to their gender identity or expression show a high prevalence rate. According to the FRA Survey in 2014, 6% of LGBT people in the EU had been physically or sexually attacked or threatened with violence because they had been perceived as LGBT, and 19% had been harassed in the previous 12 months for this same reason. Research on intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships and especially violence against LBT women show high prevalence rates that are both invisible at the public level and a taboo issue both in LGTBI communities and women’s CSOs.
LOOK WIDE! addresses this gap by encouraging key stakeholders involved in victims’ support services to take a wider approach to GBV and non-discrimination so that the rights of LGBTI victims are fully guaranteed. The project tackles the need to develop practical guidelines for the integration of gender and sexual diversity in the support services for LGBTI victims of violence, the training of professionals in the field of GBV and anti-discrimination services and the development of specific support programmes adapted to the needs of different LGBTI victims in specific local contexts.
Partners conduct national and EU level assessments of the situation of LGBTI victims of GBV and the work of professionals; form national advisory networks and organize International mutual learning events; develop and conduct capacity-building programmes for professionals and support programmes for LGBTI victims of GBV; and disseminate guides and the results of their work.
Partners in the project are:
Differenza Donna, Italy, an association founded in 1989 with the goal of exposing, combating, preventing and overcoming gender-based violence.
Dissens, Germany, an educational, counselling and research institution operating since 1989.
Háttér Society, Hungary, an LGBTI organization founded in 1995, providing support services, exploring the situation and needs of LGBTQI people and mainstreaming these concerns in laws and public services.
KMOP, Greece, an organization founded in 1977, working to support disadvantaged groups by solution-oriented and knowledge-based interventions that are crucial to fostering resilience.