On the 27th of January It Happens Here held a panel discussion on ‘Raising awareness of violence and sexual abuse within and towards the LGBTQ+ community’.

The aim of the event was to open a dialogue about how sexual violence permeates the LGBTQ+ community and how we can go about combatting it. We were proudly joined by the founder of Chrysalis Dianne, a charity that works with gender identity issues, OUSU’s LGBTQ+ Officer Catherine Kelly and Molly Moore the LGBTQ+ Society Women’s Welfare Officer.

The discussion was open to all regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation and we had a fantastic turn out which provided a comfortable and discursive environment.

As the LGBTQ+ Officer for IHH I chaired the discussion which covered a variety of points. We discussed in depth the sexual violence many trans women face, and Dianne was able to explain the fantastic work Chrysalis does to help trans people who have survived sexual violence. We also discussed the fetishisation of the LGBTQ+ community which continues to lead to sexual violence and harassment, something we explored in reference to Oxford’s club scene. Within the LGBTQ+ community there is sexual violence and harassment which often goes unnoticed, for example, there have been instances where gay men have non-consensually touched queer women acting under the idea that because they are gay it is fine. We discussed how this can make the LGBTQ+ community exclusionary and unsafe for many individuals.

We followed the discussion with an informal drinks reception where audience members were able to talk with us and find out more about IHH. The event was very successful and as LGBTQ+ Officer I was very pleased we were able to work with Chrysalis, OUSU and The LGBTQ+ Society.

If you would like to know more about Chrysalis please visit their website http://www.chrysalis-gii.co.uk. IHH donated the proceeds from the event to Chrysalis and we hope to be able to support them in the future, and we invite you to do so too!

Katt Walton, LGBTQ+ Officer

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