BANGALORE: Sexual violence, which is believed to be a common occurrence in the flesh trade, is not restricted to women only. Men who have Sex with Men (MSMs) and Transgenders (MSM-Ts) are silent victims of sexual violence and in most cases, the perpetrators are their own clients, a study conducted across 534 such men living in Bellary, Shimoga, Mysore and Belgaum districts.
In 61 per cent of the cases, the person who committed sexual violence were clients, said the study recently published in PLOS One, a journal of the Public Library of Sciences.
Agreeing with these findings, Krishnaiah, a volunteer who works with sexual minorities as part of HIV intervention programmes, said compared to female sex workers (FSW), MSMs are more vulnerable to sexual abuse by their partners as well as others for various reasons, including their appearance and behaviour.
Explaining the reasons, he said, “MSMs have a feminine personality unlike female sex workers who look completely like women. This makes them easy targets for violence as they find it difficult to pick up clients in a discreet manner.”
In fact, the study has recommended the inclusion of violence prevention as part of HIV prevention programmes and health services.