In the tapestry of LGBT+ history, the stories of resilience, activism, and progress are woven with threads of courage and determination. From the shadows of persecution to the light of legal recognition, the journey of the LGBT+ community in the UK reflects a profound evolution in societal attitudes and legal rights. However, amidst the victories of equality, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges that persist, including the prevalence of domestic abuse within the community and the vital role of support services in providing support and advocacy.
Domestic abuse is a pervasive issue that transcends gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. However, LGBT+ individuals face unique challenges when it comes to seeking support and resources. Discrimination, stigma, and lack of understanding from mainstream services can create significant barriers for those in need. Moreover, the dynamics of abuse within same-sex relationships can differ from heterosexual relationships, requiring specialist knowledge and sensitivity from support organizations.
Did you know?
In the year ending March 2022, findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales revealed that individuals across diverse sexual orientations faced domestic abuse, with the highest prevalence observed among those identifying as Bisexual, accounting for 12.1%, compared to 4.6% among those identifying as Heterosexual/Straight.
Support is available:
At Cyfannol Women’s Aid, we recognise that we can only grow and develop by listening to the voices and responding to the needs of all those with lived experience.
We are committed to ensuring LGBT+ people can access the support they need. These may be our own services, or those of specialist ‘by and for’ organisations, helplines and projects that offer VAWDASV support and resources to LGBT+ people, including:
Galop works directly with thousands of LGBT+ 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 LGBT+ people, for LGBT+ people, and the needs of this community are at the centre of what they do.
Galop runs four national support helplines: one for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse, one for LGBT+ people who have experienced hate crime, one for LGBT+ 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 LGBT+ victims who need longer-term support.
As well as amplifying the voices of LGBT+ survivors, Galop also delivers training to organisations such as ours to help ensure VAWDASV services meet the needs of LGBT+ people.
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
The Supernova Project is a global effort that aims to contribute to addressing abuse within LGBTQIA+ communities. Their aim is to empower queer people around the world who are experiencing domestic abuse by providing a queer friendly platform of information and support.
Read more about the Supernova Project
Visit our Service Directory and Resources sections for more links to specialist support services and resources