June is Pride month – a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities all around the world.
As well as a time for celebration, Pride also offers an opportunity to reflect on and raise awareness of issues affecting LGBTQ+ people. It is estimated that more than one in four gay men and lesbian women, and more than one in three bisexual people, have experienced at least one form of domestic abuse since the age of 16. While lesbian women report similar rates of domestic abuse to that of heterosexual women, gay and bisexual men might be twice as likely to experience domestic abuse compared to heterosexual men. Similarly, bisexual women are twice as likely to disclose intimate partner violence compared to heterosexual women. Evidence also suggests prevalence rates of domestic abuse may be higher for transgender people than any other section of the population.
Whilst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender survivors’ experiences are not homogenous, additional factors often underpin the complexity of issues LGBTQ+ survivors face.
LGBTQ+ survivors’ experiences may include the following abusive behaviours:
LGBTQ+ survivors may also be coerced or manipulated to believe:
Support is available
We know that many LGBTQ+ survivors prefer to receive support for domestic abuse in an LGBTQ+ specific environment. We recognise that we can only grow and learn by listening to those with lived experience, and thank these organisations and projects for amplifying the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans survivors:
Galop works directly with thousands of LGBTQ+ people who have experienced abuse and violence every year, specialising in supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, and other forms of abuse including honour-based abuse, forced marriage, and so-called conversion therapies.
They are a service run by LGBTQ+ people, for LGBTQ+people, and the needs of this community are at the centre of what they do.
Galop runs four national support helplines: one for LGBTQ+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse, one for LGBTQ+ people who have experienced hate crime, one for LGBTQ+ victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and the other for victims and survivors of so-called conversion therapies and practices. They also provide advocacy support for LGBTQ+ victims who need longer-term support.
Read more about GALOP
The Myriad Programme
Welsh domestic abuse charity, Calan DVS developed an 8-week programme specifically for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other gender, relationship & sexuality diverse individuals. This recovery and resilience programme was developed in partnership with LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic abuse and the University of South Wales, offering a safe space to chat, learn and support each other.
The programme explores different types of abuse in relationships, the impacts, how to recognise warning signs and how to stay safe.
We are grateful to Calan DVS and Myriad Programme Facilitator, Gwilym Roberts, for supporting us to find out more about this project and their learning from it.
Read more about the Myriad Programme
Visit our Service Directory and Resources sections for more links to specialist support services and resources