The world’s first intersex-inclusive 24/7 domestic violence freecall telephone help line has opened and is supported by a website with information about how violence is conducted against intersex people as well as other members of the LGBTI community.
The Another Closet website and help line are a project of the Same Sex Domestic Violence Interagency, formed in April 2001 in Sydney.
As the site’s Intersex People and Domestic Violence page relates, abuse, rejection and outright brutality can be visited upon intersex people by family members and partners in many forms, and we should be aware that they are indeed domestic violence.
If families reject their intersex children, this can lead to psychological abuse in the form of ostracising the child, shame and secrecy about the child’s differences and less favourable treatment than that given to siblings.
When intersex children have different genitals they may be subjected to surgery and gender assignments without consent. This starts a lengthy process of medical examinations throughout childhood. All of this may be cloaked in secrecy from other family members and friends.
In intimate relationships perpetrators of domestic violence can use a person’s intersex as another means of power and control over them.