Conservatives and Labour ignore gay victims of domestic abuse claims charity

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A new Tory party plan to spend an extra £2.6m on help for women experiencing domestic violence has been attacked by a gay charity.

Broken Rainbow runs the UK’s only dedicated lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans domestic violence helpline.

The group attacked the new funding proposed by Conservative party leader David Cameron last month in a policy document, Ending Violence Against Women.

The money will be used to expand the national network of rape crisis centres.

“It is surprising and disappointing that lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have been so obviously omitted in the Conservative party plans,” said Jo Barringer, the chair of trustees of Broken Rainbow.

“It is even more surprising as the Conservatives have many gay, lesbian and bisexual MPs.

“However, even with the current Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, we are seeing a blinkered descriptive of those suffering from domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is not just a women’s issue; it is an issue suffered by all, regardless of race, religion, gender and sexuality.

“It is a human condition.”

Broken Rainbow is funded by the Home Office.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is launching a consultation on improving the safety of women, “in their homes, at work and in public.”

Interim CEO of Broken Rainbow, Rita Hirani, said:

“With no specialised LGBT refuges and a lack of training for services dealing with domestic violence survivors and perpetrators has meant that our community is in a void, where those meant to help us do not even have the training to tell common assault from instances of domestic violence.

“As such the LGBT community is perpetually being held back from moving forward and this is borne out in statistics.”

Broken Rainbow wants: “thought to be put into more inclusive public statements from the government and opposition parties, and also increased support and funding for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities regarding domestic violence and abuse.”

According to Galop, a safety charity for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, about one in every four LGBT people will experience domestic abuse of a sexual, emotional, financial or physical nature at some point.

Broken Rainbow’s helpline runs Mon 2-8pm, Wed 10-1, Thurs, 2-8pm, on 08452 60 44 60.