Has Someone Crossed Your Line?

Areas of WorkRFSL

RFSL Support Service is here for you who identify as an LGBTQ person and have been subject to violation, threat or violence.

In our work we come in contact with different types of violence and exposedness. It’s not always the case that what you’ve been subject to corresponds to your image of what violence looks like.

The one that subjects you to violence can be a partner, family, relations, temporary aquantancies, colleagues at work, schoolmates, neighbors, total strangers and sometimes organized groups. It can be about both psychological, physical, sexual, economic or material violence.

The one who hurts someone can have different motives. It can be about exercising power and control over another human being or a hatred towards LGBTQ people. Sometimes it’s about honor norms and multiple people can be involved.

Below is a description of what it can be about.

Hate crime

If someone tries to violate you because of how they perceive your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression it is a hate crime.

You might for example be:

  • Harassed and called names
  • Spitten on
  • Groped, forced to perform sexual acts
  • Enclosed, restrained
  • Threatened online, by telephone or letter
  • Pushed, scratched, bitten, have your hair pulled, beaten, kicked

Honor related violence and opression 

Sometimes honor norms can be a motive for subjecting an LGBTQ person to a crime. As with hate crime, it can be about anything from demeaning words to risk of deadly violence. When violence is honor related many people are involved in subjecting someone to control and/or violence. Honor can be described as something that must be defended in order for a family to maintain their good reputation.

It can for example be being:

  • Watched and controlled
  • Deprived of the right of having sex and relationships with who you want
  • Punished by for example being grounded
  • Forced to get married against your will
  • Subject to attempts of conversion through a psychologist, doctor or religious leader
  • Shut out from the family’s community
  • Forced to live a double life
  • Subject to physical violence

Intimate partner violence

To be subject to violence from your partner is about the partner trying to limit your living space through power and control. Partner violence happens repeatedly and systematically. It can be perceived as a constant stress with consequences such as lowered self esteem, fear, anger and gradually forces you to stretch/move you boundaries. You can read more here (in Swedish).

It can for example be being :

  • Degraded, diminished and being called derogatory words
  • Criticized for your appearance, gender expression, behavior or your family/friends
  • Controlled and isolated
  • Not being allowed to meet who you want or be open as an LGBTQ person
  • Deprived of the power over the shared economy
  • Pushed, restrained, dragged, pinched, kicked or beaten

The partner may for example also: 

  • Threaten to harm others such as your children or pets
  • Threaten to commit suicide
  • Intimidate
  • Throw things at you, use weapons
  • Threaten to disclose your sexuality, gender identity, relationships or HIV status
  • Threaten to interfear with your gender assessment
  • Keep you from taking medication, getting treatment or aids

Sexual violence

Sexual violence is about violating someone’s sexual boundaries. It can happen within a relationship or in a casual sexual encounter. Sexual violence can also be used against LGBTQ people as humiliation or punishment.

It can for example be:

  • That someone touches your body without your consent
  • To be persuaded to consent to sexual acts when you don’t want to
  • Being forced to witness or carry out sexual acts when you don’t want to
  • Partner(s) refusing to have safer sex
  • Being forced to pose
  • Being forced to sexual games against your will
  • Being raped


Telephone: 020-34 13 16 (free)

E-mail: stod@rfsl.se