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Charity highlights domestic violence in same-sex relationships

Rainbow_flagThe charity Broken Rainbow is launching a month long campaign to highlight the issue of domestic violence in same-sex relationships.

The charity conducted a survey in 2013 which showed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) people in same-sex relationships are more than twice as likely to have experienced domestic abuse than people in heterosexual relationships.

Nearly half of gay and lesbian respondents to the 2013 survey said they had not reported domestic violence because they thought they would not be taken seriously.

Broken Rainbow are trying to draw attention to this hidden problem and aim to increase understanding of domestic violence in same sex relationships. They say that part of the problem is that domestic violence is most often discussed as being an issue in heterosexual relationships.

The focus on heterosexual domestic abuse can mean that gay or lesbian victims fear that they will not be taken seriously if they report abuse, or even struggle to recognise that the behaviour of their partner is abusive.

The charity offers help and support to anyone from the LGBT community who is concerned about domestic violence. The charity’s helpline received more than 4,000 calls last year.

Lord Brian Paddick, a Liberal Democrat peer and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, voiced support for the campaign. Recalling his own experiences of domestic violence, he said:

“I didn’t go to the police because I didn’t want to be open about my sexuality and the type of relationship I was in. I was too embarrassed. We need to be more open about this so that people in abusive relationships realise they are not alone.”

He added:

“Unacceptable behaviour in a domestic abuse setting can and tragically does escalate to violence. Despite the research, the experience and the good work by some police forces, there is little the police can do to combat emotional abuse.”

Broken Rainbow interim Managing Director Jo Harvey Barringer added: “Over the past 10 years Broken Rainbow has received more than 25,000 calls from members of the LGBT community in distress, with the number of calls continuing to have an upward trend.”

 Help and Advice

Broken Rainbow provides services advice and support to the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community experiencing domestic violence. Specialist transgender helpline Tuesdays 10am – 5pm. National helpline:

0300 999 5428 Email: help@broken-rainbow.org.uk

The Lesbian and Gay Foundation Helpline: provides free advice and support on a wide range of issues including domestic violence. A face-to-face counselling service is provided on a sliding scale dependent on ability to pay.

Hours Daily 18.00 -22.00 0845 330 3030

email info@lgf.org.uk web http://www.lgf.org.uk

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