Welsh Assembly Member says victims of domestic violence in same-sex relationships need more support

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Welsh Labour Assembly Member Rebecca Evans has asked the Welsh Government to ensure that victims of domestic violence in same-sex relationships are not disadvantaged when it comes to accessing services and support.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Mrs Evans, who represents Mid and West Wales, said: “Same-sex domestic violence has been recognised in law since 2003, but still it is rarely talked about. This lack of visibility can make it difficult for lesbian, gay and bisexual people to report incidents of domestic violence, and people affected by it may not feel confident that the services and support that is in place will necessarily meet their needs.

“Increasingly, research suggests that domestic violence is as common and as severe among same-sex couples as it is among heterosexual couples, so it is crucial that people are in no way disadvantaged.”

In response, Wales’ Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “This is something that I have considered since taking up this post and I recently agreed to fund some further research to identify the scale of the issue within the LGBT communities, and to assess if there are specific barriers for individuals accessing support services.”

The Welsh Labour Assembly Member added: “We obviously provide a range of domestic abuse services for everyone in Wales and are also undertaking an independent review of the services we provide for victims of domestic abuse, again, to consider those barriers [to service].”

Director of Stonewall Cymru, Andrew White, added: “Our research shows that half of gay and bisexual men in Wales have experienced domestic abuse, as have one in four lesbian and bisexual women. All victims of domestic violence need support that’s appropriate for them and we would welcome any work to make sure this includes lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”