Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate, it happens in our community too
BY BIRMINGHAM LGBT
With media campaigns and awareness about domestic abuse usually focused on women being oppressed by men, it’s easy to forget that domestic abuse is experienced within LGBTQI relationships just as often.
Domestic abuse does not discriminate based on gender, it can happen to anybody – including within female couples. Research suggests that one in four lesbian or bisexual women will face domestic abuse in their lifetime.
The figures for trans women are one in two.
It is highly concerning that there are only a handful of specialist LGBTQI domestic abuse support services in the UK when there are such high numbers of LBT domestic abuse survivors.
Due to this lack of specialist support, Birmingham LGBT has received funding from Comic Relief in order to develop The Rainbow Project.
This project is the first of its kind, offering a safe space for LBT survivors to learn about domestic abuse, healthy relationships, share experiences and gain support from peers.
Birmingham LGBT recognise that LBT women face different pressures, additional barriers and unique forms of abuse. They aim to help women feel safer, helping them to understand their experiences of domestic abuse, and the unique risks and dynamics in LBT relationships.
Some LBT women may find it difficult to report abuse or leave abusive relationships because of threats of being outed, not seeing their children because they are not the biological parents, or for fear they will face discrimination from agencies including the police.
Marks left from domestic abuse aren’t always physical. It can include psychological, sexual, financial, and emotional effects that will withstand they aren’t dealt with properly.
So what steps should you take if you find yourself in an abusive relationship? Or if you have left a relationship and your ex-partner has started being abusive?
Remember: it’s not your fault
Nobody deserves to be subjected to domestic abuse whether it’s from a partner or family member.
If you live in Birmingham or in a surrounding area, Birmingham LGBT offers an Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) service that can provide you with support, advice, advocacy and the knowledge to safely plan around your situation.
Birmingham LGBT understands the different pressures, barriers and the unique forms of abuse that LBT women face. Everyone deserve to live life free from abuse.
If you would like domestic abuse support, or would like to attend the Rainbow Project programme, please contact Birmingham LGBT by calling us on 0121 643 0821 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline run by Galop on 0800 999 5428. In an emergency always call 999.
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