Campaign for Safe Accommodation for LGBT* Survivors

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - 17:30

A cross-party group of MPs, alongside LGBT* Housing Association Stonewall Housing, have tabled an Early Day Motion highlighting the issue of domestic abuse in the LGBT* community. Stonewall Housing are aware that not enough is being done to address the drastically under-reported problem of domestic abuse in the LGBT* communities. There is now a wealth of evidence that reveals that domestic abuse is at least as high, if not higher, amongst sub-groups of this community. Notably:

Domestic abuse is committed against LGBT* people by ex/partners and family members of all genders and sexualities.  Abuse, particularly against the younger LGBT* survivors, is frequently from family members who are intolerant of their sexual or gender identity. A Stonewall survey of lesbian and bisexual women in 2008[2] revealed that one in four – the same proportion as heterosexual non-trans women – experienced domestic violence. In 2011 another Stonewall survey revealed that gay and bisexual men found that half of them had experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16.

Sarah Champion MP, who is invovled in the EDM said "Tragically, domestic abuse is an issue which affects both men and women in both same-sex and opposite-sex relationships, and with different gender identities. This Early Day Motion - which I have tabled with the help of Stonewall Housing, and a cross-party group of MPs - is about highlighting this. 

"We need the Government to commit ring-fenced funding for specialist refuges for LGBT survivors, as they have already done for women; and we need police, government and local councils to target some interventions specifically towards this group. This needs to happen as part of a broader drive to improve provision for all survivors of domestic abuse."

The Government has not committed funding to provide any LGBT refuge provision in any part of the UK leaving LGBT survivors at risk of further abuse.  LGBT people fall through the gaps, leading to an increase in anti-social behaviour, homelessness, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and a decline of physical and mental wellbeing.

Maria Sookias:   Coordinator for LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum said, “In the run-up to the General Election we think it’s vital that everything be done to raise the profile of this issue, so we’d like to encourage everyone to send the draft letter below to their local MPs asking that they show their support by signing EDM 653 or by writing to the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles MP ”

If you or someone you know may be homeless due to domestic abuse, call Stonewall Housing’s free and confidential advice line on 0207 359 5767.  If you do not have the money to make that call reverse the charges and Stonewall Housing will call you back. You can also email for advice via www.stonewallhousing.org


 

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