Translated by: K.H.Chow
Women Coalition of HKSAR 17 June 2009
Press Release, release immediately
Domestic abuse situation is alarming among homosexual cohabitants
Front-line supports to the situation have never met the growing demand
According to the first and the newest academic research on "same-sex intimate partner violence in the pan-Asia region", conducted by the Department of Psychology of CUHK during the period of 2008/08 to 2009/02, findings in regard to the situation in Hong Kong is consentaneous to the previous alarming observations, as commended by one of the research partner organizations, the Women Coalition of HKSAR (WCHK, our group). Among the 399 valid respondents, aged 18 or above, 49.9% of the them had experienced physical assaults, body injuries, or/and sexual coercion. Astonishingly, among 12.7% of these victims had been exposed to "multiple-forms of abuse", which mean physical assaults/injury, sexual coercion, and psychological abuse/LGB-identity salient abuse.
Compared to the previous survey on the same public issue (from 2006/12 to 2007/2) by our group(1), the aforementioned reports reflects that family violence experienced by same-sex intimate partners has been worsened, with a raise in 16.6% (from 33% to 49.9%) of victims among all valid respondents. It is generally formidable for these victims to seek legal help from the society In fact, concern of raising the fundamental human rights of same sex partnerssis undeniable. The urge of re-legalizing the Domestic Violence Bill to include same-sex couples under the category of cohabitation relationship is un-neglectable.
Beyond the Amendments
Despite our group's strong welcome to the recent enactment by the government to cover the rights of same sex cohabitants under the Domestic Violence Bill, there is still, however, inadequate. As a member of the Alliance for the Reform of Domestic Violence Ordinance, we would be glad if the legal sector will have follow up actions on the 3 main areas, including:
- Establishment of domestic violence court facilitating with prosecuting cases of criminal or civil offenses, arguments on property rights, and issuing writs of habeas corpus.
- Enforcement and execution of offender treatment programs, such as psychotherapy and education, as part of the sentence of verdict.
- Replacment of injunction order of protection and property, and to simplify theissuing process.
Concerns on inadequate and lack of professionalism of front-line supports
As shown by the CUHK research only 1.6% of the victims had seek help from social welfare groups about the abused . Most of the victims worried about the accountability; shortage of mutual insights and experiences in services offered by these groups. Thus more concrete actions and attentions are required further to the delivery of the legal rights. Our group strongly requests
- Government can enhance the welfares for the benefits of the LGBTs community, including the establishment of domestic violence shelter services, hotlines, and education
- More educations on social workers, instructors, police force to understand the domestic violence among the homosexual community.
- More resources to different non-profit groups for homosexuals towards the work of domestic violence prevention by all possible means.
As a role model, we are going to collaborate with the Harmony House in providing services and education for front-line workers in order to improve the situation in the earliest time.
(1) The survey was jointly conducted by Women Coalition of HKSAR, The Hong Kong 10% Club, Hong Kong Queer Sisters, Rainbow of Hong Kong, and Horizons, details please refer to: http://www.wchk.org/dvo2008/summary.doc