Editor’s Note: This article contains references to interpersonal violence.
On April 12, the GLBT Center held a virtual workshop on experiences of interpersonal and sexual violence (IPV) within the GLBT community.
The workshop included defining IPV, defining specific types of IPV, how IPV affects specific groups and more. Participants were divided into small groups on and off to answer given questions and discuss what they know about IPV.
Andy DeRoin, Deputy Director at the GLBT Center, facilitated the workshop. DeRoin began by defining the VPI.
“IPV is a pattern of behavior in which one partner coerces, dominates, or isolates another, and the emphasis is on maintaining power and control,” DeRoin said.
DeRoin said IPV can occur in all types of relationships and in all communities.
“Sometimes the societal tropes that we’re kind of socialized with tell us that IPV only looks like physical or sexual abuse,” DeRoin said. “Sexual violence mainly between strangers and physical violence between long-term committed partners. But there is a wide range of all this. This definition of IPV, I think, is something I want to leave with you, that it can happen in any type of relationship and it happens in our communities.
DeRoin said the signs that someone may be a survivor of domestic violence can look like someone showing general signs of stress.
“Recognizing the signs in survivors can look like a potential shift in self-esteem,” DeRoin said. “Even if they seemed confident before, you may exhibit personality changes from being outgoing to feeling withdrawn or appearing withdrawn, signs of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, experiences and problems with stress to love more headaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach aches.”
DeRoin presented a series of statistics on IPV within the GLBT community, saying the statistics hadn’t changed much since 2013. In particular, they pointed out that transgender survivors were 1.9 times more likely to experience IPV. physical violence, a statistic that has not changed since. 2013.
“I’ve updated some of our stats since then, but that 1.9 keeps showing up, especially for transgender survivors,” DeRoin said. “I don’t think anything drastic has changed since 2013. This increase in derogatory discrimination, harassment and violence hasn’t changed over time either.”
In one of the focus groups during the workshop, participants were asked what kinds of barriers students might encounter when trying to find support for IPV. Madi Moser, Administrative Support Specialist and Student Services Coordinator for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry and workshop participant, said students may feel uncomfortable disclosing sensitive information to people they don’t know, especially if they’ve had negative experiences in the past.
“I think about it from the perspective of students, having to come forward as a way to discuss the abuse they’ve experienced with people they don’t know,” Moser said. “And if they have past experiences with outings that don’t go well, that trauma could continue and they would potentially want to internalize it and not go through it again or relive it to get the help they need. with all that they are dealing with. »
When this idea was later brought up to the whole group, DeRoin said it was a hurdle that students often face when seeking help.
“It’s a barrier, that they kind of have to take this initiative,” DeRoin said. “It’s not something that’s readily available all the time. Or maybe it didn’t turn out the way they wanted or needed. We’ve seen this through a variety of different challenges someone might face, including IPV.
DeRoin said they wanted people to know that IPV can develop over time and get worse. They said people should be aware of how they feel in their relationships and that there are resources available to them on campus if they want to talk to someone about it.
“I think I want people to know that if they feel they have to do something in a relationship, it’s worth at least that question,” DeRoin said. “And that there are people on campus who are here to help without judgment explore this question.”
Learn more about the GLBT Center and check out other workshops they have planned through its website.
If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, or any other form of interpersonal violence and needs advocacy services, the NC State Women’s Center has trained advocates available to offer a crisis intervention, emotional support, resources and referrals. . Students can contact the 24/7 Sexual Assault Hotline at 919-515-4444 or email [email protected] to schedule an appointment with an attorney.
Advocacy services through the NC State Women’s Center are available to all students, including all gender identities and sexual orientations.
For more information on advocacy services, please visit go.ncsu.edu/supportsurvivors. If you would like to speak to a confidential resource, you can also connect with the NC State Counseling Center at 919-515-2423. You can also visit go.ncsu.edu/safe for more information on resources and report options.