Speaker addresses unique aspects of domestic abuse within LGBTQ community

A representative from Women Escaping A Violent Environment, Inc. provided basic knowledge of LGBTQ+ identities, addressed differences between sexual orientation, gender identity and a variety of other stereotypes that have been said about the community on Oct. 24.

Nic Caballero, a registered social worker as well as a bilingual counselor for WEAVE, Inc., led the presentation by introducing intimate partner violence and risks that come from the lack of services to accommodate the LGBTQ+ community.

Jenieva Jennings, a 20-year-old sociology major, thought that the presentation was very educative in terms of speaking out about the violence.

“I thought it was really good,” said Jennings. “I thought the slides were very informative, and I thought the speaker was very good with questions.”

Caballero provided in-depth examples of some differences that most identities contain from each other, and how society had a tendency of blending everything together without respecting those distinctions.

“Somebody who’s a lesbian doesn’t have the same needs as a questioning (someone who is trying to figure out their gender identity/sexual orientation), but for some reason, people keep getting lumped in a box,” said Caballero.

Caballero answered various students’ questions regarding differences between transsexual and transgendered people, and how the term ‘transgender’ covers a variety of other subdivisions like intersex, gender queer and drag kings.

He also emphasized how no one can determine someone’s sexual identity by one’s outer appearance; only that person can decide that and people must respect their identity instead of judging people. Caballero believes that “a person identifies that on their own.”

Domestic abuse among the LGBTQ+ community slightly differs from characteristics that occur in a heterosexual relationship.

Aside from being physically harmed, characteristics vary from the abuser threatening to reveal someone’s sexual orientation/gender identity, brainwashing their partner into thinking no one will love them and even going as far as preventing their partner from gaining access to hormones.

Abuse such as this occurs daily, and Caballero described some common barriers that prevent victims from reaching out. For example, most victims fear not being taken seriously, increasing people’s homophobia and being outed.

Caballero said that collaborative works “can provide LGBTQ+ victims the assistance that they need,” such as youth organizations, specialized LGBTQ+ providers and even sex worker rights groups.

“In terms of providing services, it takes a lot of people to make these services,” said Caballero. “It takes a lot of collaboration between people.”

Other students, such as 23-year-old business administration major Julianna Cha, felt similarly. She said that the presentation could’ve been longer, but understood that only so much information can fit in a one-and-a-half-hour presentation.

“Because I identify as a woman who is heterosexual, it was just kind of eye-opening to see the perspective of how they would view the law enforcement or how comfortable they feel to even report the violence within their own partnerships,” Cha said.

Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes, so when it comes to looking for red flags, it can be difficult to pinpoint what is considered unhealthy.

As stated on their website, WEAVE, Inc. is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that has been providing 24/7 support filled with things such as “crisis intervention, therapeutic and prevention services” that correlate to one’s needs since 1978. Other forms of aid such as emergency shelters and counseling are also provided.

If you or a loved one is experiencing a form of abuse and want to seek assistance, visit https://www.weaveinc.org/ for further information or call their support line at (916) 920-2952.