Presenting author: Andrés Lekanger
Presenting author biography:
Andrés Lekanger has a bachelors degree as a social educator and is the COB of Chemfriendly Norge. Lekanger also works in Oslo municipality`s safe consumption room and emergency sleep over service.
Preventing rape in the Norwegian chemsex-scene using chemsex-participants’ real stories in social media campaign
In 2022, Chemfriendly launched a campaign in which 8 chemsex-participants shared their stories about being raped when mixing sex and drugs. These stories were shared on a webpage, with information on how to reduce the risk of rape if choosing to mix sex and drugs, and information about where both victims and perpetrators can get professional help. Each story got a picture and a storyline-sentence, shared on social media to get attention to the webpage. The campaign was shared by LGBT-, sex workers- and drug- and harm reduction organizations.
Chemsex is a practice in which the gay male participants mix sex and illegal drugs. Chemfriendly Norway is a user and peer organization for queers and sex workers using illegal drugs. Our goal is to prevent harms related to illegal drug use.
Rape is a recurring concern for many chemsex-participants, as shown by qualitative studies and many conversations users have with Chemfriendly. In some isolated chemsex-scenes we hear of many incidences where rape is normalized. Some users expect that they can be raped and feel they cannot get support from others in their chemsex-scene because rape is considered a part of the game. Not getting support after being raped can lead to poorer mental health outcomes, and more harmful drug use. No one takes the perpetrators to court because they themself did illegal drugs and do not want to get problems with the law. Victims of rape can also end up raping others, maybe because it has been normalized in their chemsex-scenes.
In this lecture, Chemfriendly will talk about the background for the campaign, what we want to achieve, and the challenges in trying to create a public debate about this problem without stigmatizing the different chemsex-scenes in Norway.