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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3337.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 2

Abstract #104428

Violence and Self-Harm Among LGBT People in Japan

Anthony S. DiStefano, PhD, MPH, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, 2473 Silver Lake Blvd., Apt. C, Los Angeles, CA 90039, 323-663-6614, tdistef@ucla.edu

Purpose: This study: 1) describes how violence is directed against LGBT people in Japan (a) publicly because of sexual orientation/gender identity; (b) privately within intimate partner dyads; (c) by family members; and (d) toward the self; 2) identifies health impacts secondary to this violence; and 3) generates hypotheses of potential causal and protective factors of violence.

Methods: The study used three data collection methods: ethnographic interviews (N=39), participant observation, and archival research. The ecological model guided qualitative text analyses of interview transcripts, field notes, and archival sources.

Results : Physical, psychological, verbal, and sexual forms of bashing, intimate partner violence, intrafamily violence, and self-harm/suicide have profound physical and psychological health consequences for LGBT people in Japan. The data suggest a number of specific, testable variables that may act as risk or protective factors for the expression of violence.

Conclusions: Violence involving LGBT people in Japan takes many forms and is not an uncommon occurrence. Further research is necessary to determine prevalence rates and to test potential risk and protective factors. In the meantime, policies in Japan should address the unmet needs of LGBT people in terms of shelters, counseling, appropriate training for providers, and further research.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, attendees will be able to: 1. Describe four major categories of violence as experienced by LGBT people in Japan. 2. Identify potential risk and protective factors for violence. 3. Discuss how findings from Japan are relevant to violence prevention in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning Objectives