We know that you can’t seperate yourself into your gender identity, your sexuality and your race. All these parts make up the whole you, and when you experience abuse on the streets or from your neighbours you may not be sure whether you’ve been targeted because of one, two or all of these reasons.
Galop can help you with advice and support in any of these situations, and if you want, we can help you to report your experiences to the police.
Racism on the Scene
If you’re out and about on the gay scene and you experience racism, Galop can help support you and, if you want, help you to report your experiences to the police. We know that racism can take many different forms; sometime this might be really obvious, for example racial or physical abuse by someone. On other occasions it might seem more subtle, for example, being refused entry to a club which claims to be ‘members only’, when you know that it isn’t. Either way, way know that racism can exisit on the scene, and we’re here to help you.
It can be really difficult to think about involving outside people if you are experiencing doemstic abuse. Talking to our speciaist worker can help you think through your options, without having to committ to taking any action before you are ready. You remain in total control.
Domestic abuse can be triggered by anything including your family or partner discovering your sexuality or gender identity. It can take all kinds of forms for example:
• Physical violence
• Locking you in your bedroom
• Bullying you into changing the way you dress and present yourself
• Stopping you from leaving the house
• Stopping you from visiting relatives.
You can find out more about what domestic abuse is, what your rights are and how we can help you by calling Galop or visiting our section on domestic abuse.
Threats to Out You
It may be that someone has found evidence of your sexuality or gender identity on the internet, such as Facebook or Gaydar, or perhaps that you have been spotted leaving a club or a known cruising ground. If you experience threats to out you to your husband or wife, your family, your community, gurdwara, masjid, church or workplace, from someone you know or you are related to, this might be considered as harassment or blackmail, and the person could be charged with a criminal offence. If this is happening to you, Galop can give you advice and support about your options, and help you decide if you’d like to report your experiences to the police.
Stop and Search
You should not be stopped on the basis of your:
• gender identity
• sexual orientation
• the way you dress
• or because you have committed a crime in the past.
After stopping you, the police officer must provide you with written reasons for the stop, whether any items were found on you, and must provide their name. If you feel you have been stopped and searched unfairly then we can help you find out more about why you were stopped, and advise you about your options, including making a complaint.
We can offer you a service whatever your immigration status. We are not interested in whether you have leave to remain or if you are an overstayer; we are here to help you make choices about how to keep yourself safe.
In some situations people enter marriages without disclosing to their husband or wife to be that they are also attracted to the people who are the same sex as them. Or they may be forced into a marriage.Some people may continue being married for a number of years without disclosing to their husband or wife that this is the case, perhaps having a boyfriend or a girlfriend whom they visit on a regular basis. If this is the case, and you are concerned about your husband or wife finding communication with Galop, we will take steps to ensure your safety, for example by agreeing not to contact you by post or leave messages on your mobile phone.
Forcing you to get married by using violence, threats of violence to you or others, or blackmail is a crime. The new Civil Protection Act 2008 is designed to stop people being forced into marriages without their consent. You should consent to your marriage freely by you and without any fear of negative consequences if you do not agree. Examples of force which would be illegal inlcude threats of violence against other family members such as your mother, or taking you on holiday to visit extended family and then taking your passport away and holding hostage against your agreement to marry. If you are concerned that your family may be trying to force you to marry someone, you can contact Galop for support and advice.