SafeLives response to the Government’s announcement on the Gender Recognition Act

In light of the Government’s announcement today that it will not be making any legislative changes to the Gender Recognition Act, we would like to reiterate our position from 2018 that we support all adults and children affected by domestic abuse, wherever they are, whoever they are, and however they identify. We believe all domestic abuse victims should receive an empathetic and effective response, tailored to their individual needs.

The Government has decided to make non-legislative changes and has confirmed that these changes complement rather than run contrary to the provisions of the Equality Act. SafeLives has always advocated for robust risk assessments to be implemented and acted on for all victims experiencing domestic abuse. Those who are managing frontline domestic abuse services will use these assessments daily in an effective and compassionate way to ensure no individual service user creates additional risk to or from other clients using the service.

Domestic abuse is a crime that affects our sense of self, our safety, our freedom to live the lives we want. This has a specific set of risks for LGBT+ and gender non-confirming people, and many domestic abuse services are already doing a brilliant job of supporting them. We should be aiming to expand this specialist knowledge with training, additional resources and ensuring that we listen to survivors of all backgrounds.

We have worked extensively with Galop, Stonewall and frontline specialist services to improve our understanding of how domestic abuse affects the LGBT+ community, gathering data, making policy and practice recommendations and ensuring the voices of LGBT+ survivors are heard. For more information on our work in this area, please look at our Spotlight. This also fed into our joint briefing paper with Galop and Stonewall that we shared with MPs as part of the Domestic Abuse Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.

Our common cause with so many others is to end domestic abuse. There remains work to do until we have done that for everyone, and for good.

Finally, you can live as Suzie – you can feel safe and you can start to envisage a life that you never thought you’d be able to live. Things aren’t always going to be easy, but you know now that you aren’t going to be alone


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