“They’re struggling,” said Helen Kennedy, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Egale, of the 16 Toronto-based refugees her organization is assisting. Egale operates a crisis-counselling service that it is adapting to the needs of these most recent arrivals.
But providing the necessary support for the Chechens is a challenge.
“The trauma that these folks have endured, the amount of violence – we hear a lot of awful things, but this is off the charts,” Ms. Kennedy said Sunday in an interview.
Earlier this year, the Chechen government launched a pogrom against gay men in the Russian republic, where homophobia is deeply entrenched.