Spotlight #6: LGBT+ people and domestic abuse



What the data tells us

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Read the report: Free to be Safe

For this Spotlight we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Stonewall – the LGBT+ charity campaigning for acceptance without exception – as our national partner, and Galop – the LGBT+ anti-violence charity – as our specialist domestic abuse partner.

If you would like to reference this report, please use the following: SafeLives (2018) Free To Be Safe: LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.

What you can expect

Our sixth Spotlight focuses on victims and survivors of domestic abuse who identify as LGBT+. Although huge strides towards equality have been made, LGBT+ communities still face additional barriers when accessing services, as well as experiencing discrimination in wider society.

We know that LGBT+ communities encompass a diverse range of people with very different identities and experiences, which is why we’ve tried to include as many different voices as we can. We’ll be exploring the different groups and intersections amongst LGBT+ people, and the different barriers they face when accessing services. We also want to hear from you: join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #FreeToBeSafe.

Through a combination of blogs, podcasts and videos, we’ll be posting the latest research, practical resources and guidance.

You'll find new content every week – so bookmark this page for the latest updates, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay in the loop.


Suzie*'s story: a trans woman's experience of domestic abuse – as told to Tiffany Parsons, Independent Choices

Sophie*'s story: young bisexual women and sexual violence – as told to Collette Eaton-Harris, SafeLives

A week in the life of a specialist LGBT Idva - Sajida Bandali, Birmingham LGBT

Sexual violence in GBT relationships - Luke Martin, SafeLives associate trainer and consultant

Making domestic abuse services accessible to LGBT+ people - Aaron Slater, Service Manager at Fearless, Sacro

Supporting GBT men - The Dyn Project

LGBT young people's experiences of domestic abuse - Janice Stevenson, LGBT Youth Scotland

The importance of Relationship and Sex Education for young LGBT people - Jacob, a young Stonewall campaigner

Why a volunteer project built a tool for the global LGBTQIA+ community – Michelle, volunteer at The Supernova Project

Managing counter-allegations – Luke Martin

Barriers to accessing services for LGBT+ people – Peter Kelley and Dr Jasna Magić, Galop

Criminal justice responses to LGBT+ domestic abuse – Tiana Kooner, Cardiff University

Supporting LGBT+ survivors of sexual violence – Bev Higgins and Mark Sisterson, the Rape and Sexual Violence Project, Birmingham

Understanding sexuality and gender discrimination – interview with Poppy Freeman



In this video provided by the Voices Unheard Project at LGBT Scotland, LBGT young people share their understanding, knowledge and experience of domestic abuse so that those supporting them can better respond to their needs


We spoke to Evelyn from RISE, about the prevalence of domestic abuse in LGBT+ communities, and how services can support LGBT+ victims and survivors.

We hosted a webinar with Catherine Donovan of the University of Sunderland, exploring why and how violence may be used in LGBT+ relationships. Watch the recording

For our second webinar, we were joined by DS Sarah Harris of Greater Manchester Police, and Tiffany Parsons, an LGBT Idva at Independent Choices. They talked about the introduction of a new coding system at GMP, which has enabled them to identify previously unseen LGBT victims of domestic abuse. Watch the recording.


SafeLives LGBT+ practice briefing for Idvas

SafeLives guidance for multi-agency forums

'Love should never be abusive' – free training resources from the University of Sunderland exploring the experiences of LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse. Download the resource and watch the video.

Our domestic abuse specialist partner for this Spotlights series Galop, have produced a wealth of factsheets to support professionals achieve best practice when supporting LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence and hate crime. Galop have also curated an online LGBT+ DV Resource Library. This collection provides direct links to resources relevant for LGBT+ people, service providers working with LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse and researchers interested in the topic. It includes UK based resources, available online and published after 2000.


Maria spoke to Chief Inspector Julie Fry of Hampshire Constabulary, about their response to victims of domestic abuse who identify as LGBT+

Penny spoke to Tara Stone from Be, about how services can be more inclusive of gender diverse people. Read the transcript.


Collette spoke to Berkeley Wild, founder and director of The Diversity Trust. Read the transcript


We speak to Leanne from Stonewall Housing, about the issues that can arise for LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse around housing. Read the transcript.


Collette and Ruth from SafeLives discuss what our data says about bisexual women accessing services, and the dynamics of abuse for bisexual women. Read the transcript.


Collette speaks to Evelyn, a specialist LGBT Idva at Rise, about good practice for supporting lesbian and bisexual women. Read the transcript


Collette speaks to Jude, helpline manager at Galop. Read the transcript


Collette speaks to Millie and Iain at Galop, about risk and safety planning for LGBT+ clients. Read the transcript


Collette speaks to Justin Varney from Public Health England, about the risks faced by lesbian and bisxeual women. Read the transcript

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