The Health Impacts of Violence Perpetrated by Police, Military and Other Public Security Forces on Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in El Salvador

Citation:

Davis, Dirk A., Giuliana J. Morales, Kathleen Ridgeway, Modesto Mendizabal, Michele Lanham, Robyn Dayton, Juana Cooke, Karin Santi and Emily Evens. 2020. “The Health Impacts of Violence Perpetrated by Police, Military and Other Public Security Forces on Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in El Salvador.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 22 (2): 217-32.

Authors: Dirk A. Davis, Giuliana J. Morales, Kathleen Ridgeway, Modesto Mendizabal, Michele Lanham, Robyn Dayton, Juana Cooke, Karin Santi, Emily Evens

Abstract:

Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men face both high levels of violence and a disproportionate burden of poor health outcomes. We explored violence perpetrated against Salvadoran gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men by public security forces; perceived motivations of violence; and impacts on health. We conducted structured qualitative interviews with 20 participants and used systematic coding and narrative analysis to identify emergent themes. Nearly all participants described the physical, emotional, sexual and/or economic violence by public security forces. Most attributed being targeted to their gender expression and/or perceived sexual orientation. The most common impact was emotional distress, including humiliation, fear and depression; lasting physical injuries were also widely reported. Study participants felt unable to report these incidents for fear of retribution or inaction. Men reported feelings of helplessness and distrust, avoidance of authorities and altering when, where or how often they appeared in public spaces. Programmes and interventions should focus on providing mental health services for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) victims of violence, educating public security forces on the legal rights of Salvadorans and expanding current LGBTI-inclusive policies to all public security forces.

Keywords: violence, men who have sex with men, police, military, El Salvador

Topics: Gender, Men, Health, Mental Health, LGBTQ, Male Victims, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, SV against men, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 2020

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.