'Hear me. Believe me. Respect me.’

Monday, October 23, 2017 - 16:15


How the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline supports victims of intimate partner violence.


In the last few weeks the national press has reported the death of a lesbian woman as a result of years of domestic abuse perpetrated by her partner. Lyndsey Vaux had experienced years of emotional, psychological, financial and physical abuse against her by the person who was supposed to care, respect and love her the most. At the sentencing of Lyndsey’s abuser, a former partner of the perpetrator gave evidence and articulated how she had experienced 50 accounts of domestic abuse by the same person.

While domestic abuse has been long recognised as a prevalent and toxic facet of some heterosexual relationships, violence and abuse in LGBT+ relationships is less well-known about. Research suggests that 1 in 2 gay and bisexual men have experienced domestic abuse from a partner or family member and 1 in 4 lesbian and bisexual women have experienced domestic abuse in a relationship. In a study of 60 trans people, 80% had experienced domestic abuse. Galop also works to analyse the data we collect to gain an accurate understanding of the experiences of those LGBT+ community who have been in an abusive relationship.

Definition

As well as physical violence, domestic abuse includes control and coercion, emotional, psychological and financial abuse. Abuse which is non-physical can be just as harmful and corrosive to the person experiencing the abuse. It also includes violence between family members – which includes child to parent abuse and parent to child abuse. This can be pertinent in the LGBT+ community, for example when a person’s sexuality or gender identity is perceived as breaking family honour codes it can result in domestic abuse.

The National LGBT+ Helpline

Compared to this time last year, Galop has received a 22% increase in calls to the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse helpline. Callers to the helpline often have a number of compounding issues which the abuser uses against them, such as age, disability, immigration status, mental ill health and childhood trauma.

The National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse helpline advisors work tirelessly to ensure callers have the opportunity to talk through their individual situation and all the compounding factors so we can support them to make the choices that best for them.  All of the helpline team are part of the LGBT+ community and are trained to help empower callers to feel equipped to handle their situation as they believe is best. We also welcome calls from those who are supporting an abused friend or family member.

National LGBT+ Helpline details

The service is a free every day and has a Trans specific service on Tuesday afternoon. It offers phone, email and webchat support.

Freephone number: 0800 999 5428

Email: help@galop.org.uk

Webchat: www.galop.org.uk

Opening times:

Phone line
10am – 5pm Monday
10am – 5pm Tuesday (1-5pm is a trans specific service)
10am – 5pm Wednesday
10am – 5pm Thursday
1pm – 5pm Friday
12am – 4pm Sunday

Online Chat
3pm -7pm Saturday
3pm – 7pm Sunday


 

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