National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Project
The National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse project aims to improve the infrastructure and support for reporting of LGBT+ domestic abuse as well as making it easier for LGBT+ people to seek help when they need it.
To do this, the project will:
- Pilot a national casework service, attached to the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline,
- build capacity of domestic abuse statutory and voluntary services to enhance their support to LGBT+ survivors,
- develop and launch online support service for survivors,
- develop and launch online tools for professionals supporting survivors of domestic abuse and
- raise awareness among LGBT+ communities to increase reporting and help seeking.
This project is delivered by Galop, in partnership with Stonewall Housing and with support from key regional partners:
The National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse project is funded by the Home Office
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
T: 0800 999 5428
The National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse helpline offers emotional and practical support to LGBT+ people who have experienced domestic abuse. We listen without judgement; help you think through your options and give information to help you stay safe. We can help you find face to face support locally and organisations that can help you move away from the abuse if that’s what you want.
To contact us:
Phone: 0300 999 5428 or 0800 999 5428
Webchat: 5pm-8pm Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Visit our website (www.galop.org.uk) and click the ‘Specialist web chat service’ on the bottom right-hand of the screen.
- 10am – 5pm Monday
- 10am – 5pm Tuesday (1pm-5pm Tuesday is a trans specific service)
- 10am – 8pm Wednesday (5pm-8pm also includes a webchat service)
- 10am – 8pm Thursday (5pm-8pm also includes a webchat service)
- 10am – 5pm Friday
If you’ve got an LGBT+ client you’re worried might be experiencing domestic abuse and you’d like to learn more about how to support them, you can contact the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline. You can get in touch by telephoning, e-mailing or speaking to us on webchat. Alternatively, you can complete an online referral for a client at http://lgbtdap.org.uk/self-referrals/.
National LGBT+ Service Map
This map shows contact details & locations of services around the UK that can help LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.
It is designed for:
- LGBT+ people seeking help with domestic abuse
- researchers working on LGBT+ domestic abuse issues
- professionals looking to connect with other services
We want this map to be a living document that will be updated with new services. If you know of a service that supports LGBT+ survivors of abuse in your area, please contact email@example.com with details.
Resources & Publications
LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Training“I found all aspects of the training interesting and feel I will take a lot of the learning back to my organisation. Really enjoyed the session.” “The training was a real ‘eye opener’, enlightening and empowering. I’m really glad I attended it.”
The program of Galop’s LGBT+ domestic abuse specialist training is based on our knowledge and expertise developed over decades of supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) survivors of domestic abuse and other forms of identity and gender based violence.
Our half a day (3 hours including a break) training session aims to increase confidence of service providers to deliver competent and effective support to LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse. The training will deepen participants' knowledge and understanding of:
- The prevalence and unique dynamics and tactics of domestic abuse as experienced by LGBT+ people
- Barriers in access to services faced by LGBT+ survivors
- Approaches services can adopt to deliver LGBT+ affirmative support
- Useful resources and support
Methodology includes individual and small group work including a case study session. Per request we can also devise a bespoke training programme which meets the individual requirements of your organisation and staff.
- Commercial / Corporate training £695 + travel costs
- Statutory / voluntary £595 + travel costs
Recognise & Respond
Strengthening service and policy response to LGBT+ domestic abuse
Recognise & Respond aimed to promote a greater understanding of LGBT+ domestic abuse, address gaps in national and regional polices and build on good practices to remove the barriers LGBT+ people face when accessing services. The project took place between April 2017 and January 2019.
Press release: 4 September 2017, London
‘Recognise & Respond’: Strengthening service and policy response to LGBT+ domestic violence
Galop is proud to announce a launch of a new project, ‘Recognise & Respond’, which will tackle LGBT+ domestic violence through research, capacity building and policy development. ‘Recognise & Respond’ is funded under the Lloyds Bank Foundation Transform Program and run in partnership with Stonewall Housing.
The project will examine and document the nature of LGBT+ domestic violence, address gaps in national and regional DV and VAWG polices and build on existing achievements and good practices to promote consistent and shared approach to removing the barriers LGBT+ people face when accessing local services.
‘Recognise & Respond’ brings together two leading specialist community organisations working in the field of LGBT+ domestic violence, who have over 35 years’ experience of supporting victims and survivors. The project comes at a time when VAWG and domestic violence charities and criminal justice agencies have started to recognise that domestic violence in the LGBT+ community is a problem, however limited funding and gendered perceptions of domestic violence fundamentally undermine the experiences of gay/bi men and transgender victims and might promote the belief that women can’t be perpetrators of domestic violence. This has significant implications on service provision, as it creates barriers in the way services are designed and delivered that might make them less inclusive and accessible for LGBT+ people. ’Recognise & Respond’ will aim work closely with DV, LGBT+ and VAWG services, policy makers, commissioners, and other stakeholders to achieve the set aims and objectives.
The Chief Executive of Galop, Nik Noone stated: “Galop is delighted to join efforts with Stonewall Housing in this unique and ambitious project aiming to inform national policy and practice addressing domestic violence. The support from Lloyds Bank Foundation is invaluable and provides a real opportunity to build on the experience and knowledge of delivering direct services and generate a robust evidence base and facilitate a coordinated national approach to understand, raise awareness and address the inequality in access to service provision for LGBT+ survivors of domestic violence.”
The Chief Executive of Stonewall Housing, Bob Green stated: “Stonewall Housing is pleased to be part of this new, exciting project with Galop, funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation. Domestic abuse is one of the main reasons that LGBT+ people contact Stonewall Housing for advice and support, and specific housing options for them are extremely limited. We look forward to developing the LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Forum, previously funded by the Oak Foundation, so that more commissioners, providers and partners can recognise this major issue and then respond by delivering more high-quality services for LGBT+ people who are experiencing domestic abuse.”
Notes to editors:
- LGBT+ is an umbrella term, which includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex, queer, pansexual, asexual and other minority sexual orientations and gender identities.
- Research suggests that intimate partner violence occurs with equal or higher prevalence in same-sex relationships as in opposite sex couples. For example, Stonewall UK reports 25 % of lesbian and bisexual women and 40 % of gay and bisexual men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a partner Trans individuals may be even at a higher risk, as research from Scottish Transgender Alliance demonstrates up to 80% of trans participants had experienced domestic abuse from a partner
- SafeLives (Insights) IDVA national dataset 2012-2013 reports 0.7 % MARAC high risk cases were noted to involve LGBT victims, 2013-214 dataset reports 2% of all victim cases identified as LGB and 0.2% identified as trans and 2016-2017 dataset reports 1 % of all victim cases identified as LGB, none identified as trans.
For further information, please contact:
Jasna Magić, Research and Policy Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaboration: Recognise and Respond will work closely with local, regional and national LGBT+, domestic violence, VAWG services and commissioners to build a wide network of partners raising awareness, providing capacity building and supporting policy development.
Intersectionality: Recognise and Respond celebrates diversity in the LGBT+ community and recognises that domestic abuse affects every person differently. We will proactively build on past achievements, learn from and support other equalities organisations and strive to ensure that our work is grounded in a human rights and equality framework.
Quality: Recognise and Respond will demonstrate a strong commitment to quality assurance standards and a professional approach towards all its key elements, which include: research, capacity building, networking and partnership building and strategic advocacy.
Effectiveness: Recognise and Respond is committed to promoting consistent, innovative and shared approaches to addressing the barriers LGBT+ people face when accessing services and improving effectiveness of delivery of services to LGBT+ victims/survivors.
Accountability and safety: Recognise and respond aims to ensure that LGBT+ people and communities have a voice in the processes that shape service delivery and that LGBT+ victims/survivors feel empowered and confident in accessing the services they need.
Domestic abuse refers to any kind of threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse between people who have been intimate partners or family members. This includes, for example, physical abuse, sexual abuse, coercive control, forced marriage, trafficking, abuse relating to gender identity or sexuality and so-called honour based violence.
Domestic violence can take place in a range of settings, can be perpetrated by a range of actors and affects individuals across all cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities, disabilities, ethnicities, income groups, social classes, ages, religions and political beliefs.
We recognise that domestic violence disproportionately affects women and girls, and that the origins of addressing domestic violence are rooted in the VAWG sector. We will seek to build on the work of the women’s ending VAWG sector as well as the achievements and gaps identified by the LGBT+ sector, to build further knowledge around the distinct experiences of abuse and develop appropriate responses catering to needs, experiences and aspirations of LGBT+ people.
LGBT+ people and communities may experience a range of institutional, structural and interpersonal abuses throughout their lives. We understand that domestic abuse, and related forms of abuse are a cause and a consequence of intersecting inequalities and oppressions faced by LGBT+ people. To appropriately respond to LGBT+ survivors, we must recognise this complex web of violence and oppression and seek to understand its impacts on individuals and communities, experiences and perceptions of violence, as well the barriers it creates for LGBT+ people seeking to access services.
We believe in fair, just and safe service provision, which recognises every individual's experience of domestic abuse will be unique. We seek to improve the responses of all services to LGBT+ survivors whilst also valuing the creation, and maintenance of specialist services ‘led by and for’ the communities they aim to serve, including women’s services, LGBT+ services and BME services. We will seek to build and promote enhanced service specialisms that recognise and respond appropriately to sexual and gender diversity.
Prevalence of LGBT+ domestic violence:
Research suggests that intimate partner violence occurs with equal or higher prevalence in same-sex relationships as in opposite sex couples. For example, Stonewall UK reports 25 % of lesbian and bisexual women and 40 % of gay and bisexual men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a partner Trans individuals may be even at a higher risk, as research from Scottish Transgender Alliance demonstrates up to 80% of trans participants had experienced domestic abuse from a partner
Perception of domestic violence
Domestic violence is often understood as male violence against women. Gendered framework however has significant implications for research, policy, and practice. Presently, there are no official ONS statistics reported about LGBT+ domestic violence and abuse that would establish a UK wide picture and enable comparisons over time. LGBT+ survivors are also adversely affected by the lack of representation in service provision and by the ‘public story’ about DVA, which doesn’t include discussion on LGBT+ people as victims, survivors or perpetrators of DVA. This perception can affect a survivor’s decision to seek help, as they may be less likely to recognise they are experiencing or using abuse.
Barriers in accessing services:
LGBT+ survivors often face multiple barriers in accessing support and justice that are unique to their sexual orientation and gender identity. Services often fail to address and represent LGBT+ issues in policies and service provision, which is the main reason why LGBT+ people fear that they will be misunderstood or dismissed, or that they might receive a discriminatory response. Studies and anecdotal evidence confirms these fears are often confirmed, and far too many LGBT+ survivors are unhappy with the response they get.
The project will produce series of reports raising awareness on the demographics of LGBT+ survivors reporting to LGBT+ DVA services as well as the extent and nature of LGBT+ domestic violence. The briefs will also summarize strategic recommendations for researchers, commissioners, policy makers and service providers.
Networking and building alliances
We will cooperate with local, regional and national LGBT+, DV and VAWG services to ensure a wide network of partners supporting dissemination of information, providing capacity building, awareness raising and policy development.
Advocacy and capacity building
The project will identify and address gaps in national and regional DV and VAWG polices. We will also build on the LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Forum and develop it as a National LGBT+ DV Network to promote consistent and shared approach to dealing with the barriers LGBT+ people face when accessing local services.
We will produce a set of guidelines for commissioners and factsheets for DV, VAWG and criminal justice agencies. We will also organise a national conference convening policy influencers, stakeholders, and practitioners from the LGBT and VAWG sectors.
Recognise & Respond: Strengthening advocacy for LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse
A national LGBT+ domestic abuse conference – Thursday 9th May 2019 – London
'Recognise & Respond: Strengthening advocacy for LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse is your opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of LGBT+ people’s experiences of domestic abuse, additional barriers this group faces in access to services and gain knowledge on strategies tackling these barriers. The conference is also your space to discuss the need for inclusive policy and service delivery and examine what is being done and what more can be done to support and protect LGBT+ victims and survivors.
This national event will bring together delegates from across the LGBT, domestic abuse, VAWG, health, housing, and victim care sectors, including:
- Victim support organisations and IDVAs
- Healthcare staff
- Housing providers
- Local authority social care teams
- Safeguarding adults board managers / members
- Home Office, Communities and Local Government representatives
Conference Chairs :
Camille Kumar, Policy Specialist – LGBT+ Equality; Race Equality, National Education
James Rowlands, Independent Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Consultant
Welcome & Introduction
09:00 Registration & refreshments
10:00 Welcome & opening address; Peter Kelley, Head of Domestic Abuse Services, Galop
Session 1 - Special Keynotes
10:15 Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister for Equalities, Government Equalities Office
10:30 Duncan Shrubsole, Director of Policy, Communications and Research, Lloyds Bank Foundation
Session 2 - Morning Keynotes
Transforming our response to LGBT+ domestic abuse
This session will assess the scale and nature of domestic abuse in LGBT+ communities across the UK, outline barriers in access to services, and assess the proposed Domestic Abuse Bill and its relevance to LGBT+ victims/survivors.
10:50 Dr Jasna Magić, Domestic Abuse and Policy Officer, Galop
11:10 Christina Warner, Barrister, 1MCB Chambers
11.30 Question & answer session
Session 3 - Roundtable Discussion
12:10 Enhancing the safety and access to justice for LGBT+ victims/survivors
The roundtable will explore how LGBT+ organisations, domestic abuse and women services can work together to strengthen activities to identify and support LGBT+ victims/survivors of domestic abuse.
Chair: James Rowlands, Independent Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Consultant
- Peter Kelley, Head of Domestic Abuse Service, Galop
- Kate Dale, Joint Head of Client Services, Rise
- Sophie Beer O’Brian, Project Co-ordinator, Wellbeing, The LGBT Foundation
- Shabana Kausar, Strategic Lead, VAWG Strategic Partnership
- Collette Eaton-Harris, Senior Knowledge Hub Advisor, SafeLives
13:20 Lunch & networking break
Session 4 - Case Studies 1
Intersectional faces of domestic violence
The case studies will explore how the intersection of disability, ethnicity and LGBT+ identities shape experiences of, and responses against domestic abuse.
14:10 Alice Lobb, LGBT Domestic Abuse Project Coordinator, Rainbow Bridge
14:30 Rahni Binjie, Pathfinder Capacity Building Co-ordinator, Imkaan
14:50 Question & answer session
Session 5 - Case Studies 2
Domestic abuse and homelessness
The case studies will address the relationship between domestic abuse and homelessness among LGBT+ young people and discuss how the housing sector can strengthen responses and improve services for LGBT+ victims/survivors.
15:30 Catherine Bewley, Head of Sexual Violence Support Service, Galop and Sarah Webb, Young LGBT+ Person Caseworker, LGBT Jigsaw
15:50 Tina Wathern, Director of National Engagement, Stonewall Housing
16:10 Question & answer session
16:30 Closing remarks
Baroness Williams of Trafford
Baroness Williams was appointed Minister of State for the Home Office in July 2016. As well as dealing with all Home Office business in the House of Lords, she is the Home Office Minister responsible for data, identity and integration. In addition Baroness Williams was appointed Minister for Equalities in January 2018. Prior to joining the Home Office, she was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government in May 2015. She is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.
Peter is the Head of Domestic Abuse Service for Galop. Peter has worked at Galop for over 11 years as a researcher and advocate, and has managed Galop’s domestic abuse service for the last 6 years. Before joining Galop, Peter was involved in research and teaching.
Duncan is the Director of Policy, Communications and Research at Lloyds Bank Foundation. He leads the Foundation’s programmes and work to influence policy and practice around small charities and selected national priorities. Before joining the Foundation, Duncan worked for nearly 9 years at Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, leading their campaigning, policy, research, communication and best practice activities, where he secured a number of changes to policy and practice.
Prof Catherine Donovan
Catherine is Professor of Sociology at the University of Durham. She has spent nearly 30 years researching the intimate and family lives of lesbians, gay men and, more recently, bisexual and trans people. Her most recent work includes the first comparative study of love and violence in same sex and heterosexual relationships, and the first in-depth study exploring the use of violence in the relationships of LGB and/or T people. She is currently researching magistrates’ training on domestic violence and abuse, together with perceptions of risk and safety, and interpersonal violence on campus.
Dr Jasna Magić
Jasna is a Domestic Abuse and Policy Officer at Galop, where she leads a national project raising awareness on LGBT+ people’s experiences with domestic violence. Jasna is an experienced practitioner and has over 15 years of experience in research, campaigning and policy work in the area of gender and sexual orientation-based violence. She is also a published author and has worked with a number of human rights and anti-violence governmental and non-governmental organisations in the UK and abroad.
Christina is a family barrister at 1MCB Chambers, with specialism in matters concerning domestic abuse, injunctive relief and access to children. Having been published by numerous leading legal journals, Christina has written on subjects such as gender-based violence and the impact of violence and abuse on families and children on a domestic and international level. Christina has also worked at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court where she contributed to the draft policy on children and towards prosecutions involving the recruitment of child soldiers and victims of sexual slavery.
Kate is Joint Head of Client Services at RISE, Brighton's specialist women's and LGBT domestic violence provider. Kate has a background in therapeutic work and feminist activism and is an advocate for providing safe specialist services for vulnerable groups and people.
Collette is a Senior Knowledge Hub Advisor for SafeLives. In her former role as a Young Person’s Domestic Abuse Worker, Collette created a local LGBT+ forum which brought together a number of agencies and sought to address the low referral rate of LGBT+ people into the domestic abuse service. Last year Collette headed up the SafeLives Spotlight on improving the response to LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse during which she interviewed a range of experts from across the country, and co-wrote the final report.
Shabana is the Strategic Lead for the Violence against Women and Girls Strategic Partnership which acts across the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster. She has worked actively on ending gender-based violence on a national and international level, through training, policy work and developing best practice. She is on the Board of Trustees of ‘My Body Back’ which supports sexual violence survivors accessing sexual health services and also a Trustee for ‘The Sky Project’, a charity focusing on ending forced marriage and so called ‘honour’-based violence.
Charlotte is an Assistant Director of Services at the LGBT Foundation. Charlotte has been with the Foundation for over 5 years, initially leading the organisation’s volunteering strategy and more recently as a strategic lead for all of the services. Charlotte is a qualified counsellor with more than a decades experience in the community and voluntary sector, and has a strong background in mental health and the development of user-led community-based services. Charlotte has been involved with the LGBT Foundation’s Domestic Abuse service since its inception, and has led the team providing this unique support for the past 2 years.
Alice is the LGBT Domestic Abuse Project Coordinator for Rainbow Bridge. Prior to her work within LGBT+ Domestic Abuse, she worked for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and the associated victims 24/7 support line. Alice specialises in autism in her personal and professional life and has frontline experience with learning disabilities, providing her with a deeper understanding of disorders including dyspraxia, Down syndrome and the various forms of dementia. Due to her experience of working with vulnerable people, she is an active supporter and advocate for minority groups.
Rahni is a Pathfinder Capacity Building Co-ordinator at Imkaan, the only UK-based, second-tier women's organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls. Rahni has over 20 years’ experience of working in the violence against women and girls sector. Rahni has worked as a frontline practitioner, counsellor, team leader, senior manager and CEO. She has been instrumental in leading on the strategic direction, design and delivery of frontline services including refuge, outreach, counselling and training provision for Black and ‘Minority Ethnic’ women and girls impacted by VAWG.
Catherine is Head of Sexual Violence Support Services at Galop, casework and well-being service working with LGBT+ survivors of sexual violence aged 13 and above. She is co-chair of the Metropolitan Police Rape Reference Group, an independent advisory group that scrutinises policy, practice and development around rape and serious sexual violence in London; Project Manager of the LGBT and Male Survivors Partnership with Survivors UK and the Havens; and manager of a national research project due to start this summer scoping LGBT+ people’s experience of sexual violence.
Sarah has worked within the homelessness and prevention sector for 10 years. For the last 3 years, Sarah has worked in the LGBT Jigsaw partnership project, providing vital young people advocacy support across both Galop and Stonewall Housing. Within her role, Sarah is the only specialised young persons’ case worker leading on high risk and complex needs safeguarding cases. Sarah supports young people, aged 13-25, who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence and/or hate crime.
Tina is the Director of Education and Engagement for Stonewall Housing and is responsible for Stonewall Housing’s national work. Before joining Stonewall Housing Tina worked for a number of years in the VAWG sector. In her role as coordinator of the housing network for 6 years her role included raising the profile of the Housing Situation for Older LGBT people at a national, regional and local level and developing the inclusion standard for older LGBT housing, care and support services. Tina has recently finished coordinating an LGBT domestic abuse accommodation based project across Manchester, London and Brighton.
Camille has worked in the ending Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector for over 15 years in a variety of advocacy, policy and strategic roles in Australia and the UK. Her work has included providing advocacy support to trafficking survivors, working at Imkaan supporting BME women’s organisations with practice development and sustainability, and developing a unique specialist service for young survivors of sexual violence at West London Rape Crisis. Camille is a trustee of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) and is the LGBT+ and race policy specialist at the National Education Union.
James is a Doctoral Researcher at Sussex University, where he is researching the part that Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) play in the Coordinated Community Response. James originally trained as a social worker and an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA). James set up the first advocacy service for gay, bisexual and heterosexual men in Wales (the Dyn Project) and has 14 years of experience in the domestic abuse sector. He also serves on the Board of Respect, the United Kingdom’s membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, men and young people.
Register your place here: tinyurl.com/LGBT-dv-conference
This event is free to attend. Upon registration you will be asked to pay £20 deposit to secure your place. All attendees will receive their ‘deposit’ funds within 5-7 business days after the event ends, depending on their bank. In case of a no-show, you will not be eligible for a refund. Exceptions may be made under certain conditions, with at least 48 hours prior notice.
The event will accommodate 80-90 delegates. In case of high interested we reserve the right to limit the number of places per organisation.
The conference will be held at a:
Resource for London,
356 Holloway Road,
N7 6PA, London
Owned by the Trust for London and managed by Ethical Property, Resource for London is conveniently located on the Holloway Road, seven minutes' walk from Holloway Road underground station.
To plan your journey using public transport please visit the Transport for London website.
For more details - including information on local buses and car parking - please visit the venue website. For further information, please contact Galop.
Minister for Equalities Baroness Williams Keynote speech
As delivered at Galop's 'Recognise & Respond: Strengthening advocacy for LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse' conference:
I am most grateful to Galop for inviting me here today to address you on what I think is a really important topic, and actually one that has been on my mind for some time now.
And as I was thinking about what I might say to you one word keeps coming to mind, and that’s courage.
The courage it must take to hold your same-sex partner’s hand in public.
The courage that’s needed to go out into the world and be yourself as an LGBT person.
And the courage that you need to speak out when a place that you should feel safest — your home — isn’t safe for you any more.
I am in a very fortunate position because I’m the Home Office Minister and an Equalities Minister, and I see first hand the impact domestic violence and abuse can have; and the courage that survivors have.
I am fortunate because, as a minister for both these departments, I get to see the brilliant work that organisations like Galop and those represented here today carry out to support victims of domestic violence and abuse. And I also get to do something to help.
In July 2018, the Government Equalities Office published the results of the LGBT Survey.
More than 108,000 people responded to that survey, making it the largest domestic survey of its kind anywhere in the world.
It revealed some of the experiences that LGBT people had in a wide range of areas; some of the most shocking were about things that had happened in their own homes.
The survey asked whether respondents had experienced any negative incidents due to being LGBT, or being thought to be LGBT, involving someone that they lived with in the 12 months preceding the survey.
Around 3 in 10 respondents had experienced some kind of negative incident involving someone that they lived with.
The experiences they reported do not make for comfortable reading:
- 14% reported that they’d been a victim of verbal harassment, insults or other hurtful comments
- 14% reported that someone had disclosed they were LGBT without their consent
- And 9% reported coercive or controlling behaviour
Around 4 in 10 of those who reported a negative incident said that their own parents and guardians had been the perpetrators. Around 2 in 10 said it was either a partner or an ex-partner.
These are people that they were meant to be able to trust; but they let them down.
Greater Manchester Police are one of the first police forces in the country to record LGBT cases of domestic abuse separately — similar to how all police forces record hate crime.
In 2017/18, the force recorded a total of 775 cases of domestic abuse amongst LGBT people. And of course that’s the reported ones.
In isolation, these statistics are shocking enough; but they are not the end of the story.
In March, I visited Independent Choices — it’s a domestic abuse service that’s based in Manchester — and I got to speak to one of their independent domestic violence advisors who works directly with LGBT victims. Seeing how that service runs; how it recognises and responds to the distinct needs of LGBT victims and survivors really helped to put the numbers from the LGBT survey into perspective.
That visit really brought me back to that word courage — and that you really shouldn’t need courage to walk through your own front door, especially when as an LGBT person, you already needed so much courage to walk out of it.
The statistics. The stories. They motivate us, both at the Home Office and at the Government Equalities Office, to act so that everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from, can feel safe both inside your home and outside of it.
As a Government we are completely committed to transforming the response to domestic abuse. And that’s why we’re introducing the Domestic Abuse Bill and a wider action plan to tackle it.
The draft Domestic Abuse Bill and wider activities set out in our recent consultation response on this issue will help to ensure that victims have the confidence to come forward and report their experience, safe in the knowledge that the justice system and other agencies will do everything that they can to protect and support them and their children, and also to pursue their abuser.
The Bill will introduce a statutory definition of domestic abuse for the first time. The statutory definition will ensure that all forms of domestic abuse are properly understood, considered unacceptable and actively challenged across statutory agencies and in public attitudes.
We will also be introducing statutory guidance to support the definition. This guidance will provide more detail on the features of domestic abuse, including gender and sexual orientation, and the types of abuse which may be experienced by specific groups.
We have also committed to create a new role of Domestic Abuse Commissioner. The Commissioner will adopt a specific focus on the needs of victims and survivors of domestic abuse from minority or marginalised groups with particular needs, including LGBT victims and survivors.
These are just some of the changes we are making in law to ensure victims and survivors of domestic know that they will be supported and protected, that is the most important thing.
As with any issue though, changing the law will only go so far. We recognise the distinct needs that LGBT victims and survivors of domestic abuse have, separate from their non-LGBT counterparts.
Evidence from the National LGBT Survey showed us the value that LGBT victims and survivors place on dedicated and tailored support services that are designed to meet obviously their unique needs. That is why we provided Galop with £500,000 to build that capacity and deliver support to LGBT victims of domestic abuse. I’m sorry that you had to do it in such a hurry, such is sometimes the way with government.
But what you’re doing is providing a targeted approach that will deliver a national casework and inter-agency support service. It will ensure that more LGBT victims and survivors have access to the appropriate support and the services that they need.
The project will facilitate a national step change in knowledge and understanding on LGBT domestic violence through the development and use of technology. Galop will deliver a campaign to raise awareness within LGBT communities and increase the number of LGBT people actually reporting domestic violence and seeking out the help that they need.
The project will also provide training and consultancy to deliver the knowledge and understanding of the needs and experiences of LGBT victims of domestic violence and abuse in statutory, voluntary and LGBT organisations that work with victims of domestic abuse.
It’s a very good programme of activity, and we are delighted to be working with you on this issue.
As I draw my remarks to a close, I want to return to the findings from the National LGBT Survey.
At the end of the survey, we gave people the chance to tell us anything they wanted, and they had 500 words to do it.
Some people chose to tell us about their experience of domestic abuse.
One person — a lesbian lady from Devon — shared their story: and it demonstrates powerfully why we at the Home Office and at the Government Equalities Office care so much about this issue.
“We do not report it as we are so used to homophobic behaviour that we keep our mouths shut.
“We are afraid of the police laughing at us.
“We are afraid of the humiliation of having to say we were raped by another woman.
“We are afraid that no-one will take us seriously.”
That’s is the tragedy and the reality of domestic abuse. It’s a tragedy that people are stripped of their courage to speak out.
94% of respondents to the National LGBT Survey who had experienced a negative incident said that the most serious incident they had experienced had not been reported, either by themselves or by someone else.
I’m going to say that again, because it is so shocking: more than 9 in 10 of the most serious incidents experienced were not reported.
And why? Because people thought it was too minor, not serious enough and that it happens all the time. Because they were too scared to speak out. That has to end.
I hope that you get the most out of today’s conference and I thank you for listening to me and I look forward to working with you all in what is I think a massive challenge - driving out domestic violence, within the non-LGBT community and with the additional challenges within the LGBT community as well.
Thank you very much for listening.
Alice Lobb- Rainbow Bridges
Christina Warner - on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill
Jasna Magic- on LGBT+ experiences of domestic abuse in the UK
Rahni Binjie - on the importance of intersectionality in domestic abuse work
Sponsors and partners
The conference is organised within the framework of Galop’s Recognise & Respond project, funded by the Home Office and the Lloyds Bank Foundation Transform Program.
Recognise & Respond is delivered in partnership with Stonewall Housing and aims to promote a greater understanding of LGBT+ domestic abuse, address gaps in national and regional polices and build on good practices to remove the barriers LGBT+ people face when accessing services
The project was funded by the Lloyds Bank National Domestic Abuse Program and run in partnership with Stonewall Housing.
The LGBT+ DA Practitioners Group is a space for discussion, questions & sharing best practice around working with LGBT+ survivors. Galop, the LGBT+ anti-violence & abuse charity, recently took on the task of facilitating & moderating the group and we want to encourage you to join the conversation.
The group will host resources from the partner organisations of the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Project, who represent all the LGBT+ specialist DVA services in the country. Members of those organisations will be a part of the discussion, making their expertise available to other professionals. Whether you work in a specialist service or have occasional LGBT+ clients, this is a space for exchanging learning & resources.
If you’ve encountered issues in dealing with a case, want a second opinion from a fellow professional or are looking for more information on how DVA issues affect LGBT+ communities, you can join the group, post your questions and browse the forum. To join the group, head to the Safelives Community page, create an account and search 'LGBT' to find the group.