The social challenges and legal problems faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) people are more dominant in Russia compared to the non-LGBTQ people. Laws in Russia decriminalized same-sex sexual activities although propaganda laws state that LGBTQ activities are punishable with fines and penalties. The increasing number of LGBTQ community in Russia has led to wide criticism of these social problems and legal challenges that they face. This paper will document how people in the LGBTQ community in Russia are being impacted by sexual violence.
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The issue of sexual violence among the LGBTQ community in Russian started in the 17th century when the LGBTQ communities were penalized for their actions with notable laws being enacted in 1832 to criminalize people in the LGBTQ community. Over this period of time up to date, cases of sexual violence have worsened and these cases intensified in 2013. There has been an increase in the cases of sexual violence among the people in the LGBTQ community (Feyh, & Lasine, 2015). Cases of sexual violence are reported on a daily basis various states in the country. As cited in Kondakov (2017), media reports indicate that 363 examples of sexual violence cases against the LGBTQ community were reported between 2011 and 2016.
In Russia, the politicians are the front-runners in the cases involving sexual violence. They believe that the LGBTQ individuals only mimic foreigners rather than abiding by their cultural values. Hence, when activists groups oppose sexual violence these politicians consider their actions as a way to be seen in other foreign nations. The laws that are enacted to protect the LGBTQ community are silenced by the politicians as they lack the will to enhance them through taking punitive actions towards the assailants. The other identity that is involved in the cases on sexual violence is the children. Laws pertaining to children have been enacted but these rules have had a greater impact on the LGBTQ individuals compared to the children themselves (License to Harm, 2015).
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Politics in Russia has contributed significantly to the problems of LGBTQ people (Kondakov, 2017). Culture has also contributed to such problems. The political classes in Russia exhibit a negative attitude towards the LGBTQ people which has resulted to increase in the cases of sexual violence. Further, the Russians consider that LGBTQ people should not be accepted in the society due to conservative nature compared to other countries. The Russian culture does not recognize LGBTQ individuals have their rights as individuals rather they treat their problems with ignorance (Wilkinson, 2014). The culture does not view LGBTQ individuals as belonging to their society since they perceive their behaviors as immoral.
Several issues have been done to address sexual violence among the LGBTQ individuals. The international communities have been in front condemning such activities on their people. This has necessitated the Russian government to form rules to address the sexual violence as well as punish the attackers (Feyh, & Lasine, 2015). Such actions include cases that were reported by international communities which led to the attackers being perpetrated. Additionally, activists groups have been formed to address sexual violence. Such groups have had a limited success combating the assailants although progress is made to make sure victims attain their justice. Politicians are being criticized by these activists to publicly condemn such behaviors which have resulted in the reduction of the cases on sexual violence on LGBTQ individuals.
- Feyh, K., & Lasine, I. (2015). LGBTQ Oppression and Activism in Russia: An Interview with Igor Iasine. QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 2(1), 100. doi:10.14321/qed.2.1.0100
- Kondakov, A. (2017, May 16). Putting Russia’s homophobic violence on the map. Retrieved November 03, 2017, from https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/alexander-kondakov/putting-russia-s-homophobic-violence-on-map
- License to Harm. (2015, June 10). Retrieved November 03, 2017, from https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/12/15/license-harm/violence-and-harassment-against-lgbt-people-and-activists-russia
- Wilkinson, C. (2014). Putting “Traditional Values” Into Practice: The Rise and Contestation of Anti-Homopropaganda Laws in Russia. Journal of Human Rights, 13(3), 363-379. doi:10.1080/14754835.2014.919218