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After experiencing abuse while calling out sexism in the online LGBTI community, I wrote a short piece asking the community to reflect on its misogyny.
Hearing women’s responses to the article, I started to wonder about the extent of lesbian abuse and silencing, both in the LGBTI and the broader communities.
What I discovered is that we don’t know the extent of the problem, except anecdotally. Acts of violence, up to and including murder, go practically unnoted, with little or no community outrage. Abuse and silencing are not uncommon but are practically invisible, in the absence of a way to share what happens to us except on a one-to-one basis.
Without recording our collective experiences, and only hearing them as individualised stories, we cannot readily see or demonstrate patterns.
How, then, can we name, analyse or address a problem we can’t even quantify?
I care about stopping the abuse of women, particularly lesbians.
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