Saturday, April 15, 2017

Identity, wellbeing, and access to resources 6/9

There is a link between the identity of defenders, the risks they face, and the resources and support they are able to access for their wellbeing. LGBTIQ* defenders, for example, have narrower access to support mechanisms. Seeking support outside of their own circles often requires them to ‘come out’ and to expose the work they do. This is similar for women defenders working on sensitive issues. As such, their spaces of work remain one of the few spaces for strengthening wellbeing.

[After the attack] I decided to go home to where my parents are; it was bad, a lot of stigma and discrimination from my family. They called me despicable. “You have dropped our name to mud, we are ashamed of you, you have dropped our name to mud, you have no shame, God will see you through hell.” It was so hard I wanted to commit suicide. I could not proceed with my work at that time. There was a state of panic and risk for all the LGBTIs [in my area]. I stayed underground until things were safe. Transwoman defender working on LGBTIQ* rights in Kenya

 This Policy Brief is based on research findings from the project ‘Navigating Risk, Managing Security, and Receiving Support’ which examines the experiences of human rights defenders at risk in Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, and Indonesia. Interviews and surveys were conducted with over 400 defenders between July 2015 and November 2016.

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