There is a variation in how different groups of people get justice, especially in international courts. Some people get justice faster, others take time, and for some, justice does not come their way. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) victims are faced with many challenges, some of which are serious criminal offenses. They, therefore, end up becoming victims because of their sexual orientation.
Here comes the big question, is there justice for LGBTQ+ victims?
Below are some of the issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community, as we aim to find out if there is justice for LGBTQ+ victims or not.
Discrimination & Harassment
LGBTQ+ victims undergo a lot of discrimination, harassment, and even violence. Such scenarios happen in places where they seek help, as well as in our own communities. There can be the accusation that the crime is self-caused or self-attracted. The victims, therefore, end up getting physically or psychologically harassed as they seek for help. For instance, in some places, when they go to hospitals, the medical staff tends to be reluctant to serve them because they feel that they deserve less.
Another challenge that the victims experience is discrimination. In certain communities, queer people are classified as outcasts, hence isolated. When they complain of having undergone criminal acts such as rape and sexual harassment, they are ignored.
When trying to seek justice in law courts, the process is long, and the dominating challenges are discrimination and harassment. The process, therefore, discourages them from attempting to seek justice.
Inadequate Resources for LGBTQ+ Victims
Resources for LGBTQ+ victims are either few or not there altogether. For instance, there are no specific courts to serve LGBTQ+ victims than groups such as the disabled, children, and mentally ill people.
The support system is also limited, discouraging the victims from expressing any form of violence they undergo. Such victims, therefore, become dependent on other people, some of whom are their abusers. Getting justice in such a condition is tricky; hence justice is not realized in the long-run.
Flat-out Refusal to Serve LGBTQ+ Victims
There are a good number of institutions that fail to serve LGBTQ+ victims. They ignore the victims deliberately, and if they serve them, they offer low-ball services with less help to the victims. When they file cases, investigations are poorly done. Doctors fail to do a proper analysis hence a gap in the evidence.
When seeking justice at the courts, the magistrates are biased and have an attitude towards the LGBTQ+ community. The prosecutors also present the cases without tangible evidence, which makes the victims lose cases. On losing cases, the victims feel discriminated against and not report more cases when their rights infringed.
Failure to Clearly Explain the Rules Regarding LGBTQ+ Victims
Imagine trying to seek justice in a system that does not clearly state what happens when your rights are violated. It is one of the challenges that LGBTQ+ victims face. Most countries have constitutions that have a gap when it comes to LGBTQ+ victims.
Most victims do not know their rights; hence, they do not know what to do when their rights are violated.
When seeking justice, court professionals meant to help the victims keep them off. At times, the sentence to the perpetrators is not clearly stated. Therefore, the system is not transparent, and due to its weakness, the chances of losing cases are very high.
Lack of Specific & Focused Services
Specific groups such as the aged, children, and the disabled have specific services that serve them. They include shelter places, specific offices to serve them. The most discouraging thing is that LGBTQ+ victims do not have specific, focused services.
After getting their rights violated, they still end up living with the violators without any form of safety. As a result, violence continues. At times the perpetrators get a perfect chance to interfere with the justice procedures, ending up not getting justice.
There may be clearly stated rules that govern the handling of LGBTQ+ victims. However, the procedure of getting an individual victim to get their justice is, at most times, complicated in most countries. Most victims, therefore, do not get justice, bringing us to the conclusion that there is very little overall justice for LGBTQ+ victims.
About the Author:
Christine Siamanta Kinori grew up in a little village in Kenya known as Loitoktok near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. All she wanted to do when she grew up was to explore the world. Her curiosity led her to join Nairobi University to pursue a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She later got a job with an amazing travel magazine Nomad Africa which gave her the opportunity to explore Africa. She also writes for numerous travel websites about Africa and tries to create a new narrative in the media about our aesthetic continent.
Christine claims to have somewhat unhealthy addiction to TV and reading, as it is a fun way to keep herself occupied during the long journeys for her travel writing. She is also a believer of letting people be their beautiful selves. To her, love is love and it is the greatest gift we have as humans.