Establishing the Social Care System for LGBT population and their families
Rainbow Association, with the cooperation of Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, continues the 5yr plan with the goal of “Establishing the Social Care System for LGBT population and their families”
We continue the the tour of visiting to All Social Care Centers(SCC) who have participated in our trainings/educations, we are signing the Memorandums of Cooperation and we are delivering framed acknowledgements to them. After the first round of visiting the SCC/s, we made agreement that were iniciated by the SCC/s, to organise addicional bacis trainings, and these agreements were achieved with SCC Sabac, SCC Kragujevac, SCC Nis, SCC Kraljevo and SCC Leskovac. There was also agreement with these SCC/s to organise project proposal training, and we also made the agreement for those trainings in SCC Backa Topola and SCC Svrljig. Although the project proposal training isn`t accredited, we think that this training will help them to increase their capacities. All of these trainings will be implemented by the end of this year.
Within this project, in Rainbow Association team works respectfull Vlada Jovanovic, with the task to analise the Social Care Low, to analise regulations and acts, for the improvement of our future work.
Also, within this project, we are preparing the pilot service of combined social/health care through outreach(field) work with our users. Outreach service is a type of service that has been implementing in the past 8 years, within the health care program. But outreach is also ideal for prevention in the field of social care. This year, in Oslo, I participated in internacional conference about outreach in social care, and there I saw how ideal this service actually is. Through entire Europe, this service has been recignized as the most quality service, with the purpose of prevention the problems of high vunerable groups, and the interesting thing is that it is most developed in Japan.
Since the begining of the year, Rainbow Association with the cooperation of few SCC/s, already had few succesfull cases. Mostly, those were younger people, below 17 years of age. From 7 cases, 4 of them were with soucidal attemp. We helped the kids to stay with their families, we helped them not to have problems in their schools, we helped them to start accepting their sexual/emotional orientation and to reduce internalized homophobia, and with that also to reduce suicid attempts.
Because of these cooperated cases, and because of the need to monitoring and evaluation the things we have done so far, Dr. Farida Bassioni joined our team, and she is an expert for monitoring and evaluation(M&E). Her task will be to establish this system between Rainbow Association and SCC/s. On that occation, on 22. Of september, Rainbow Association members met the director of Republic Institut for Social Care, Mr. Bozidar Dakic, and it was agreed that this topic deserves special attention, and in the future our cooperation will be more intense.
Because of the big number of young people in who`s cases are included Rainbow and SCC`s, I will talk a bit more about adolescence now.
Adolescence, by itself, it is hard periof of life for every young person, and if that person belongs to some of the vulnerable groups, that period multiplied by several times.
In that period, we all need support, and it is very significant to us when we have that kind of support from important people in our lives, especially from our parents, even if we sometimes dont understand that support.
If the young roma person suffers the violence in school, or discrimination, even on the street, anywhere, when he/she returnes home, he/she knows that there will find support and condemnation of what happened.
Young LGBT person, in the same situacion, would encounter condemnation inside his family, in the form like that person caused those problems by itself. Unfortunately, very often he/she will expirience violence and/or discrimination by it`s family.
Because of the things mentioned above, primary thing is that partner or group of closest friends creates alternative family structure for that LGBT person. In lack of law and institutional recognition and considering the fact of social discrimination, and discrimination in school and family, these alternative family structures could be more important that the families where they come from. Importance of alternative family structures for LGBT people, mature or young, still is not figured and recognised.
Many of LGBT people are facing the social stigma, violence and discrimination and beeing a part of heterosexist society can create significant degree of stress for those LGBT people, especially for the adolescence ones, which in many cases are beeing tolerated only if those people are hiding their emotional/sexual orientation. Status of sexual minority group increases the risk of stress which is related to „cronical everyday conflicts(for example listening to antigay jokes and constatly stay alert)“ and also with serious „negative happenings in life, especially significant for gay people(for exampe job loss, residence place, child custody, antigay violence and discrimination because of emotional/sexual orientation)“.
Researchers have shown that gay men are exposed to mental health risk(Mayer) and emotional disturbance(Ross) as a direct result of discrimination and negative expiriences in society. Di Placido(1998) has reported that actually there is no research about factors of psychosocial stress with lesbians, gays and bisexyas women. She pointed out that „some lesbian and bisexual women are facing with stress which are the result of their multiple minority status on mismatched and unhealthy ways”.
Stress factors were examined especially between young lesbians, gays and bisexual persons, and it was found that their social vulnerability and isolation are their biggest aspect of preoccupation. Social stresses that affect young LGBT persons(verbal and physical violence) are connected with problems in education, running away from home, prostitution, abuse of intoxicans and suicide(Savin-William).
From all suicides, 35% of them happened because of fear of rejection(because of same sex emotional/sexual orientation). It was established that verbal and physical violence has been significantly more frequent between adolescence gay men and bisexual men that tryed to commit suicide, comparing them with persons that havent(Rother-am-Borus, Hunter i Rosario). These stresses are, also, connected with high-risk sexual behaviour.
Young LGBT persons who lives in rural communities can expirience stress that is connected with risk of revelation(comming out), because of the chances for them to keep as a secret their emotional/sexual orientation. Fears of rejection from their family home, disclaiming from the part of their parents, relatives, friends and their dweeling place, could be more expressed because of limited possibilities inside their community. Less visibility and less number of LGBT support organisations can internalise feeling of social isolation. Further, LGBT persons could be resentful because of the violence acts, and violence caused by rural communities with the lack of legal, medical and social care for the persons who are highly marginalised.
In general, growing up of LGBT individuals in our society is even more difficult because there is no model of socialisation(model of other people or group of people to look up to them), with the fact that persons in early stage recognise that same-sex emotional/sexual orientation is something that should be hidden, and they live long time with the feeling of shame, blame and presure , fear of rejecting… Different researchs and expirience are showing us that after coming out(to family and friends), family quits the contact, friends make distance, neighbours starts to pointing fingers at you…
On TV, instead of possitive models, LGBT persons can often hear and see insults on their account, that they are sinfull, non-moral, that they are dangerous for society and civilization, and that society doesnt want them. Very often we can hear also the public call for lynch and violence against LGBT persons. That can result with accepting social stereotypes, and that LGBT persons start to believe that something is wrong with them, that they should be ashamed, that they should step a side, ect. Constant threat and/or exposure to violence, is not helping entire situation.
Majority of entire population are beeing exposed to some kind of discrimination, and/or violence(psychological, physical, social…) but we need the imagine what is the dimension of that problem inside LGBT population because that population is facing those problems every day(relationship with parents, naighbours, in the bus, in the clubs, restaurants…). In fact, in every situation that we can imagine.
It is very important to understand the difficulties and differences that LGBT persons are facing with, during their adolescence age. Young LGBT persons can expirience rejection from the part of their parents when tjey reveal their emotional/sexual orientation. When young LGBT persons are beeing rejected from their parents, then the higher risk is for them to become homeless, not to finish their education, get involved with criminal, get involved in prostitution, and with those things, risk of HIV infectiond and stess is becoming much higher. Young person who identify themselves as LGBT youth persons, are also in higher risk of becoming the victims of violence, even inside their families, also of abusing the intoxicants, and even suicide attemps. These difficulties, also can make influence on developing goals of adolescence. Social stigma that is connected to LGBT indentity, and violence, can make career development even harder than it is, and also in the questions on how to choose. Expirience of parental and social acceptance has big impact on young LGBT persons comforting . Peers and educators can be helpful for improving psycho-social enviroment for this group of young people, it may happen that they wont be able to help if they are missing adequate informations and expirience. If those potential sources are heterosexist, they can cause addicional conflicts and disturbance.
We think that each adolescent, no matter what is his/hers emotional/sexual orientation or some other difference, anywhere in Serbia, should have equal possibilities for adequate and available support. Thats why we educated staff from 146 SCC`s about adequate approach and work with LGBT population and their families. LGBT adolescents can contact SCC`s or Asocijacija DUGA/Rainbow Association, www.asocijacijaduga.org.rs, so we could help them through their adolescence age.
In the future years to come, Asocijacija DUGA and SCC`s can, by mutual work, do a many things for LGBT young people in entire Serbia. That could be example of good practice not just for Serbia, but for entire region and Europe.
Author : Aleksandar Prica
Interpreter: Goran Marjanovic
Text taken from website of „Glas centara“