The National LGBT survey found that ethnic minority respondents were up to 2 x more likely to be offered, or to have undergone, conversion therapy than white respondents. Transgender respondents within black and minority ethnic faith communities are at even greater risk.
We have heard from House of Rainbow, Sarbat Sikhs, Shakti Women’s Aid and The Naz and Matt Foundation that without proper consideration of the impact of criminal measures and civil measures upon minority ethnic faith communities and communities of colour, there will be unintended consequences, including risks to victims and survivors of Conversion Practices (CP) within the LGBT+ community.
These communities will potentially be put at further risk due to historically established prejudice and discrimination within the criminal justice system. There are legitimate concerns and feelings of apprehension around reporting whilst this remains the case. For this reason, as has been said within the EAG, considerable work will be required within communities to understand these risks, to safeguard, and to provide awareness and understanding about the legislative measures and support available.
People of colour and those within minority ethnic faith communities experience CP differently to the wider white and / or Christian population. There are specific risks and issues that must be considered when developing this legislation. We will outline this as best we can here.
Having carried out stakeholder engagement and a literature review regarding conversion practices (CP) and the shape that they take in minority ethnic faith communities, and in communities of colour in the UK, we have been able to highlight key themes and develop recommendations (or ‘must dos’) for the EAG to consider – these aim to aid the team working on drafting legislation against CP and developing a civil scheme to work with the public to understand these diverse experiences so as to avoid putting anyone at further risk or creating unintended negative consequences.
We will cover:
- Wide considerations from literature
- Theme 1) Suppression, cultural coercion and consent
- Theme 2) Reconciliation of sexual orientation, gender identity and religious identity
- Theme 3) Diverse practices and family: Honour, dishonour, abuse and shame
- Theme 4) Institutional racism and underrepresentation in policy development
- Theme 5) The need for culturally competent support and capacity building
Based on this short report and work with stakeholders we make our recommendations to the EAG.
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