Violence against homosexuals in Russia was present before President Vladimir Putin signed an anti-gay law prohibiting homosexuals from, well, being themselves in public, but studies show it has increased youth violence in the LGBT community, according to Slate.
Published: January 31, 2014
As the Sochi Winter Olympics draw nearer, Putin and other Russian officials have begun to soften their stance on homosexuals after realizing the harmful impact it could have on the success of the games, but the number of gays who are beaten, raped and murdered are on the rise, according to a Harvard study.
The anti-gay law strips gay citizens of all their rights and their dignity and according to Slate, and Putin seems to have used homosexuals as a scapegoat to draw attention away from his failed attempts at fighting corruption in hopes he could regain some popularity votes.
So far, more than half of Russian citizens who identify as gay (the number may be skewed because many are afraid to identify with the label) have reported being psychologically abused, with 16 percent have reported being physically abused and 7 percent reported being raped, according to the Harvard study.
The bigger problem seems to be the lack of interest by authorities of the violent crimes being done against the gay community, leaving those injured or psychologically abused with no where to go, Slate reported. Currently 77 percent of homosexuals do not trust the police and do not report anti-gay crimes.
What Putin created when he signed the anti-gay law was an "open season on gay people," according to Slate.
In the Harvard Study titled "Cost of Indulgence: Rise in Violence and Suicides Among LGBT Youth in Russia" which was published in December 2013, violence against gays in Russia is not considered violence at all, and instead is seen as a way for heterosexual young men to prove their masculinity.
Researchers in the study explains a deeper understanding into gender roles in Russia and the expectations based on traditional values are deeply rooted in the violent crimes against gays.
The study states: "Male adolescents report constant pressure to prove their masculinity by committing sexual and violent acts. Anti-gay violence allows the male adolescent to reaffirm his commitment by showing his peers what he is not. This is linked to beliefs about the superiority of heterosexuality. Accordingly, the outbreak of violence against the LGBT community, especially youth, has gained momentum. "
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