No Justice

survey: cops not taking homosexuals seriously

A new study has found that 92.4 per cent of homosexuals experience some form of discrimination in Barbados.

What’s more, the survey shows that 75 per cent of those who report their problems to the police are denied assistance.

The survey, entitled Examining Stigma and Discrimination Experienced by Gay Men, was carried out between October 2014 and March 2015.

Several respondents also reported that they were denied private health care, as well as housing on account of their sexual preference.

The findings were revealed today as the HIV/AIDS Commission hosted a one-day HIV discrimination meeting for men on the topic Men and HIV: Removing the Cloak of Invisibility.

Presenting the preliminary findings of the research, which was conducted among the lesbian, gays, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and sex workers in Barbados, director of the HIV/AIDS Commission Jackie Wiltshire-Gay said despite high levels of discrimination among men who have sex with men, there was “gross under reporting” because they did not believe anything would be done about it.

Jackie Wiltshire-Gay
Jackie Wiltshire-Gay

“The report of denial to services needs to be certainly addressed as it has implications to the national programme’s ability to access these hard to reach populations and their corresponding willingness to use and access prevention, treatment, care and support services,” she said.

The majority of respondents, (70.7 per cent), identified sexual orientation as the general reason for the discrimination they experienced while 61.3 per cent of those surveyed said sexual orientation was the specific reason for the discrimination.

Wiltshire-Gay said 46.7 per cent of those surveyed indicated that the main source of the discrimination was from someone in the neighbourhood, 42.7 per cent said from a bystander or passerby and 37.3 per cent from a family member.

Most of the respondents, (63.8 per cent), said the discrimination took place on the road, 39.1 per cent said it happened at home while 33.3 per cent said it occurred at work.

Twenty per cent indicated that the discrimination occurred during the period of the survey and 20 per cent said it occurred within the last year preceding the survey.

In terms of what form the alleged discrimination took, at the top of the list was verbal abuse, with 82.7 per cent of those surveyed reporting that this was the type they experienced, 26.7 per cent said they were threatened and another 26.7 per cent said they experienced neglect.

Besides the denial of police assistance, 12.5 per cent said they were denied private health care, 12.5 per cent said they were denied housing and the same percentage of respondents said they were denied customer service.

Wiltshire-Gay said of the 60 per cent of respondents who chose to take action, 55.6 per cent said they responded verbally, 29.6 per cent told a friend and 18.5 per cent said they reported it to the police.

“On the other hand, those who did not take action [36 per cent] indicated their principle reason for doing so [was that they] couldn’t be bothered [45.5 per cent]; didn’t feel it would go anywhere [22.7 per cent]; and didn’t know I could do anything about it [20.5 per cent] . . . these are disturbing,”
said Wiltshire-Gay.

“The fact that so many key populations opted not to take action may be indicative of a lack of awareness of individual legal and human rights and a belief based on experience – personal or observed – in the futility of seeking any redress. Efforts should be made to determine the existence of anti-discrimination policies, the extent to which these have been implemented and provide a measure of protection for key populations,” she said.

In view of the findings, Wiltshire-Gay said she was looking forward to the passage by Government of the anti-discrimination legislation next year.

She said the HIV/AIDS Commission would be “scaling up” its Know Your Rights Campaign, as well as programmes for men who have sex with men, and other public awareness promotions.

One participant, while questioning the number of individuals who said they were denied police assistance because of their sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation, cautioned officials not to get “lost in emotions”.

Of the 200 people surveyed, 80.2 per cent were Barbadians, 18.7 per cent from other Caribbean islands and 1.1 per cent from outside the region.

7 Responses to No Justice

  1. Hunte Omar
    Hunte Omar December 2, 2015 at 1:35 am

    I am appalled to hear this. If GOD use to look at our faults, then all be condemned. God loves the sinner but hates the sin. If this is really a christian Society , there be more love not hatred, violence and child abuse. The injustice to one , is injustice to all .

  2. zeus December 2, 2015 at 4:11 am

    I am not falling for these stats so quickly …the areas that were surveyed were they also surveyed so as to verify if there were any differences in opinion for example making a report to the police and you are not satisfied where the level of response you get there is a system in place for that ….in housing when a place is advertised for rent and it includes no children allowed is that not discrimination against parents should there be legislation for that also and its also easy to survey the medical industry to see who accept or reject ….don’t just take a one sided survey and run to the public asking for legislation ….is it just because its homosexuals

  3. Derek Gale December 2, 2015 at 6:27 am

    This new survey which has found that 92.4 per cent of homosexuals experience some form of discrimination in Barbados indeed demonstrates how the Government of Barbados discriminates against the LGBT Society, yet the Government does absolutely nothing to combat this unjust discrimination against the LGBT Society in Barbados. Nevertheless truth is and what makes matters worse for the LGBT Society they are already discriminated because under the laws on homosexuality it is illegal which can lead to life imprisonment; same-sex marriages are banned; same-sex adoptions are prohibited; the LGBT Society are banned from joining the armed forces: gay bars are clubs are banned and the LGBT Society are discriminated against.

  4. sage christmas December 2, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    These trying the America style of pushing their immoral lifestyle on others. I will not fall for these stacts a at all. first the person conducting the survey must let us know her\ his stance. My question to you did you seek to find out from the police whether what is being said is true or false? did you did the same with private doctors or even the QEH TO SEE WHETHER IT WAS TRUE OR NOT.

  5. Sue Donym December 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I think that this data demonstrates very little other than that these are the responses given. How do we begin to understand how much of this is perception as opposed to reality.

    I am not homosexual, so if I had an unfavourable experience, should I conclude it is because I am being discriminated as a heterosexual? Matters like this need more analysis and investigation. I am not disputing that there are some instances in which offenders make it very clear that they are opposed to homosexuals and that their actions are based on that, but we cannot always conclude that if police, for example do not take an expected action, that it is because of x or y reason. It could be simply be that they do not think it a police matter or they do not think further action is merited. In such cases I do not think it unreasonable to ask the police: How should I proceed? Why can you not do a or b? This should clarify the reason.

    If a service provider does not handle my case in the way I thought it would be, should I conclude it is because I am short, or have brown hair or any single trait?

    It would be disappointing if the persons that conducted the study did not ask questions that would allow them to follow up, or seek explanations as to why the respondents concluded that discrimination based on homosexuality was the cause.

    How likely is it that the study participants own expectations influenced their handling of the situation or their belief as to why it turned out the way it did?

    Did the study explore if respondents displayed any discriminatory attitudes or actions that either started the chain of events or caused unfavourable interaction or do they believe themselves to be without prejudice?

  6. dap December 3, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Why are you all trying to make people accept a lifestyle that is very wrong when you all do not live or accept the word of the Most High. What are we really going to teach the youth of our country that it is ok for a man to sleep wit a man or a woman to sleep with a womam, you all people are mad

  7. Ruby Lord Hamilton December 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I was so pleased to see the video of the Opening Ceremony for the first gathering with your Police Officers. I so wanted to be in the room with you all so that I could share my knowledge regarding LGBTI people and their families. It disturbs me that blame is heaped on the shoulders of the police who are performing according to what we all learned as children! Yes, they need re-educating just as I did when my son came to me and said, “mom, I’m a homosexual”, about fifty years ago. He helped me and his father and we joined other parents of gay children, to understand what this meant for our son and in fact all of our family. I read, attended workshops all over our continent, listened to the stories of other parents. Became president of P FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays),
    for a time. My son was infected with GRIDS as it was known in his early twenties. From then on he also became a student on what this new AIDS disease was, that was killing all his friends. From then on he was a student and helper in what he called “Aids World” until his death at 63 years. I would love to be young enough to travel to your meetings as the West Indies is where my roots are, going back several generations in Barbados and St. Lucia. Congratulations to you all, as you begin this wonderful journey to understanding! Ruby Lord Hamilton….


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