Pakistan: Domestic Violence Against LGBT Persons On The Rise

The lockdown and travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic has resulted in declining mental health and increased domestic violence in Pakistan, reports DW News Agency. 

The country's few on LGBT issues are largely conservative and it also has laws (established by the British in 1860) that criminalises homosexuality. The legal and social stigma means that the queer people have to hide their identities from their families. If the families get to know, it could lead to disownment, or even violence. 

A study undertaken by NGO Have Only Positive Expectations (HOPE) that works for the sexual minorities and marginalised communities was cited in the report. According to the organisation cases of domestic violence against gay men and transgender people have increased during the lockdown period. 

Co-founder and program executive of HOPE Mani AQ believes this is due to the increased financial and emotional strain on people. "Some trans women enjoy having a masculine boyfriend because he can make her feel more feminine and loved, but, during COVID, we saw that many women reported more domestic violence," he was quoted saying. 

It is noteworthy here that suicide rates, self harm and mental illnesses are high among the LGBT people in Pakistan. 

With most people having to go back to their family homes, they were making use of dating apps to meet new people. This, too, was hampered after the government banned apps like Tinder and Grindr so that the youngsters would not indulge in 'un-Islamic behavior'. 

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