LGBT+ people and domestic abuse spotlight

Resources and guidance to help professionals support LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse – part of our 2016–2019 Spotlights series that shone a light on the hidden victims of domestic abuse

The most common portrayal of domestic abuse is that of a male perpetrator and female victim within a heterosexual relationship. But domestic abuse can happen to anyone and be perpetrated by anyone. This includes people of all gender identities and sexual orientations and in many types of relationships.

In the sixth of our Spotlights series, in 2018, we focused on victims and survivors of domestic abuse who identify as LGBT+. We were delighted to work 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.

We know that LGBT+ communities encompass a diverse range of people with very different identities and experiences, so we tried to include as many different voices as possible. We explored the different groups and intersections among LGBT+ people and the different barriers they face when accessing services.

About SafeLives’ Spotlights series

Our 2016–2019 Spotlights series shone a light on hidden victims of domestic abuse. We explored the experiences of victim groups who face additional barriers to accessing support, and can feel ‘hidden’ from services. Discover insight from survivors, practitioners, academics and other experts, alongside our own research and data.

There is very little information regarding domestic abuse within a lesbian relationship; everything seemed tailored to the heterosexual relationship, and I had to specifically look for information regarding my circumstances.

Sophie, 19, North East, quoted in Prescription for Change (Stonewall)

Facts and figures

  • Facts and figures

    of LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse have attempted suicide compared to 15% of victims who don't identify as LGBT+

  • Facts and figures

    LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse are more than twice as likely to have self-harmed (32% vs 14%)

  • Facts and figures

    of LGBT+ victims have been abused by multiple perpetrators

Free to be Safe

Read the full findings in our report: Free to be Safe. Shining a light on the experiences of LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse.

Read the report

Resources and guidance

Blogs, webinars and podcasts

Sexual violence in GBT relationships

Men in GBT relationships may experience sexual abuse, sometimes linked to power dynamics and substance misuse. Consultant Luke Martin shines a light on issues and responses.

LGBT+ young people’s experiences of domestic abuse

The Voices Unheard project was established by a group of young people from LGBT Youth Scotland. Using a peer research approach, the group sought to find out lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people’s understanding, knowledge, and experience of domestic abuse in their families and relationships.

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