Two in five LGBTQ+ domestic violence victims have no support from family, study finds

LGBTQ+ domestic violence

A new study has revealed that 40 per cent of LGBTQ+ victims of domestic abuse have no support from friends or family.

The survey of 2,042 people across the UK, conducted by YouGov for domestic abuse charity Galop, asked participants about their experiences of being subjected to domestic abuse and their access to support. 

The research, published on Tuesday (6 June), reveals a lack of support for LGBTQ+ people suffering from abuse perpetrated by a family member or partner. 

According to the study, an average of three in every five LGBTQ+ victims receive no professional help from support services. 

Things are bleak for trans and non-binary domestic abuse survivors too with just one in eight on average receiving help from someone in their family.

Statistics also revealed that, when compared with those in major cities, LGBTQ+ survivors living in a village or smaller city at the time of abuse were more likely to be unaware of what support was available.  A total of 81 per cent of surveyed survivors of abuse by a family members or partner said they had experienced abuse in places outside major queer cities where there are fewer or no LGBTQ+ services. 

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Some respondents described themselves as “lucky” to have lived or worked in or near a larger town or city, because it meant they were more likely to be able to access support.

‘Non-LGBT+ services looked at me like an alien’

One survivor told Galop: “I was living with my parents at the time. They would have found a way to blame me for it, so it was easier to keep it to myself.”

Another spoke of the lack of support where they live, meaning they felt scared of outing themselves if they did get help, while a fellow survivor said: “Non-LGBT+ services looked at me like an alien.”

Leni Morris, Galop’s chief executive, said LGBTQ+ victims are being let down by the system with help being dependent on living in a major city such as London.

She emphasised the importance of ensuring all LGBTQ+ victims of abuse can access the support they need where it’s needed. 

“This report shows there is far more demand for support than there is capacity to provide it, with nine times more LGBT+ victims wanting intensive practical support than were able to get it.

“With such significant numbers of LGBT+ people unable to access the support they need, we are calling on the government to ensure high-quality specialist support services are available to LGBT+ victims of abuse, wherever they are in this country.”

The research follows the charity launching the UK’s first rape and sexual assault helpline, dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ victims and survivors

The helpline is available Monday to Thursday between 10am and 8.30pm, and on Fridays from 10am until 4.30pm. Call 0800 999 5428 or email [email protected].

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