UK’s first trans and non-binary domestic violence refuge opens

A group of people sit with their backs to the camera, one wearing a trans flag as a cape.

The UK’s first national domestic violence refuge for trans and non-binary adults has opened.

The Loving Me project aims to provide emergency temporary accommodation for victims who identify as trans, non-binary, or are gender questioning.

Purchased by The Emily Davison Centre not-for-profit group, the refuge is set to open in Lancashire, but will house trans people aged 18 or over from across the UK. The service will be run by trans people, for trans people.

In association with Lancashire County Council, and with support from The Rank Foundation, Loving Me is now open for referrals, which will be assessed by experts.

“Every day trans and non-binary people are struggling to find safe accommodation that will allow them to be free of their abusers,” said Loving Me’s chief executive, named Moss.

“We are so proud to be opening this refuge, a warm, welcoming and supportive environment where members of our community can feel safe and supported and begin to rebuild their lives.”

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Established in 2021, the Loving Me project also provides several domestic violence support services for trans and non-binary individuals, including a helpline.

The Emily Davison Centre’s joint founder, Amanda Elwen, said the focus on by-and-for support for trans people was so that experts are “better able to understand the context and complexity of abuse faced by minoritised survivors”.

A report from the Domestic Abuse Commissioner found that 68 per cent of LGBT+ survivors prefer a by-and-for specialist service, while 91 per cent of trans people agreed.

In June, a study commissioned for LGBTQ+ anti-abuse charity Galop revealed that trans, non-binary and gender-diverse individuals are significantly more likely to be concerned about mistreatment by abuse services. As a result, 53 per cent of transgender people who have suffered abuse believed there was no support available for them.