The UK’s leading LGBT+ anti-abuse charity, Galop, have published new research

BY KRYSTA MCKENZIE, IMAGE BY UNSPLASH

On 15 December, Galop published a report on how the cost of living in the UK has detrimentally affected members of the LGBTQIA community experiencing abuse and violence. This reports surveys frontline staff at Galop about the various ways LGBTQIA abuse victims and survivors have been impacted in the period since June 2022.

The report shows that queer abuse survivors and victims have been struggling to afford the essential costs that come with surviving abusive environments. This includes but is not limited to: transport costs for attending appointments/services, legal costs, therapy costs and temporary accommodation charges.

Financial pressures aside, queer people also face an acute risk when seeking out general emergency accommodation due to the potential threat of experiencing homophobic and/or transphobic violence. Galop’s CEO Amy Roch pointed out that trans and non-binary people have an additional barrier to accessing support, as mainstream services for abuse survivors “often operate within the gender binary and, in many cases, explicitly exclude trans people from access”.

However, since waiting lists for LGBTQIA inclusive accommodation have grown significantly longer, abuse survivors are left with the cruel choice of either living in possibly dangerous accommodation, homelessness, or staying in an abusive environment.

Evidently, there is no secure option left for queer people in need of support. So unfortunately, as one frontline worker explained, “Survivors are returning to perpetrators because they are unable to support themselves financially”.

In their publication, Galop reports that between June and November 2022, spending from their emergency fund was 227% higher than the same period in 2021 – clearly showing the huge impact of the Cost of Living Crisis. The full report shares statements from frontline workers who are witnessing the difficulties that individuals are facing, and how they believe the community can best be supported.

The findings in this survey reveal an urgent need to allocate more resources to supporting queer survivors and victims of abuse – and with that in mind, Galop’s report ends with a call for governments and organisations to take action. The Cost of Living Crisis is having an unprecedented effect on the LGBTQIA community, and we are yet to know the long term ramifications.

To read the full report, please click here.

To donate towards Galop’s essential services for LGBT+ survivors of abuse and violence, please visit galop.org.uk/donate.

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