So-called ‘conversion therapy’, sometimes referred to as conversion practices, includes all forms of abuse that have the pre-determined intention to change, ‘cure’, or suppress an individual or group of individuals’ sexual or romantic orientation and/or gender identity.
So-called ‘conversion therapy’ can be perpetrated by anyone, in any setting, or any community. It might happen in someone’s own home, someone else’s home, or in a community, religious, or therapeutic space. Conversion practices are not necessarily tied to religion or specific cultures, but in some cases they can be.
This abuse could come from a family member, a community or religious leader, a romantic partner, a therapist or medical practitioner, or another individual in a person’s life.
Even though the name might give the impression that so-called ‘conversion therapy’ only happens in therapy or counselling spaces, that’s not the case. A more accurate term you may have heard is ’conversion practices’.
In some cases of so-called ’conversion therapy’, a person can be made to believe they have asked for or consented to what is happening to them. They may even be told that the only way to live a happy and fulfilled life is to change their sexual or romantic orientation and/or gender identity. However, we can’t choose who we are and we can’t consent to abuse.
If you think you or someone you know is experiencing or has been offered conversion therapy, you can get in touch for support and information.