Council considers closing domestic violence shelter for gay men

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Hammersmith and Fulham council is considering closing London’s only domestic violence shelter for gay and bisexual men.

The council is reviewing the future of the residential shelter, whose contract ends in June, with closure among its options. This would leave London without a single domestic violence shelter for gay and bisexual men.

No domestic violence refuges in London accept men. The nearest is in Berkshire, and men fleeing domestic violence are often sent to shelters as far away as Wales.

Studies have found that gay and bisexual men experience a disproportionately high level of domestic abuse. A 2011 survey by Stonewall found that half the men surveyed had experienced domestic violence from a partner or family member.

According to Stonewall Housing, the government has not committed any funding to refuges for LGBT people anywhere in the UK. They say this will lead to increase in homelessness, suicide, self-harm and poor mental health among LGBT people.