The Supernova Project: Online Platform Addresses Abuse in LGBTQIA+ Relationships

An online platform addressing the unique dynamics of abuse faced by queer people in relationships was launched on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

The Supernova Project aims to provide a safe space for LGBTQIA+ people to help them identify and address abuse in relationships, both romantic and otherwise. The open-access resources and guidance available at the Supernova platform provide queer people the tools to understand domestic violence and abuse, and to respond to physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse by their partners, family members or friends.

Domestic violence is still largely understood and addressed from the heterosexual perspective, and men are often portrayed as the primary instigators of abuse. Yet, research indicates that abuse does not discriminate between gender identity and sexual orientation. Despite the reality, there is a lack of online resources that educates and empowers victims to stand up to their oppressor, and little emotional support is available for queer people suffering through the unique types of abuse and distinct stresses they might face.

Realizing this gap, the Supernova Project provides access to information that will ultimately raise awareness around domestic abuse faced specifically by LGBTQIA+ individuals. The first initiative of its kind, Supernova provides resources for the LGBTQIA+ community in a direct, thorough, and user-friendly way. Written by LGBTQIA+ volunteers, it includes detailed guidance, advice and resources on everything from different forms of abuse to the various types of abusers. With this information in hand, queer folks will be better equipped to identify signs of abuse within their relationships, respond to abuse confidently, and ultimately protect themselves so that they may live their fullest lives.

Maryam Amjad, founder of the Supernova Project at Chayn notes: “As a queer woman, I realised that although much of what Chayn was doing was so utterly needed in the world, there was little that I could relate to from my own experiences in queer relationships.

I started looking around on the different types of abuse that happens within the LGBTQIA+ community, and within queer relationships. The support I found available online was only in fragments. Much of the content on abuse in relationships, or on anything that might help a queer person deal with the different types of abuse that can occur in relationships, has always been written from the perspective of a straight woman, with a male abuser.”

Hera Hussain, founder of Chayn said: “Tech and society are always further ahead than governments, who are playing catch up, but we’re slowly starting to see this change. By using tech to fill gaps in access to information and justice, we can either complement efforts already taken by governments and NGOs, or point out where they are failing.”

The Supernova Project has been developed by Chayn, an international 100% volunteer-run, award-winning tech-for-good organization, whose mission is to ensure every individual can lead a life free of abuse, oppression and violence. Chayn’s areas of work include Toolkits & How to Guides, Platforms to Inform & Support Women Facing Domestic Violence, and Digital Services.