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Specialist support for LGBTQI+ victims of domestic abuse is needed

Date:6 DEC 2021
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The Domestic Abuse Commissioner has launched a new report produced by the charity Galop which shows the need for more specialist support for LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse.

The summary of findings is as follows:

1. There are a small number of LGBT+ domestic abuse services; most are victim support services based in London.

2. LGBT+ domestic abuse support is largely provided by LGBT+ ‘by and for’ organisations with a domestic abuse service.

3. On a lesser scale, LGBT+ specialist support also exists within VAWG and generic domestic abuse organisations.

4. No funded LGBT+ ‘by and for’ domestic abuse services exist in the South West and North East of England, or in Wales.

5. There are no LGBT+ specific services for LGB+ and or T+ perpetrators and/or perpetrator programmes.

6. There is a lack of emergency accommodation/ housing services for LGB+ and/or T+ people, in particular GB+ and/or T+ men.

7. There is a lack of service provision for LGB+ and or T+ children and young people outside of London.

8. LGBT+ ‘by and for’ domestic abuse services often work outside of their geographical remit and beyond their capacity to meet the demand.

9. On average, LGBT+ domestic abuse services are small, with just one or two staff members employed.

10. There are currently 3.5 FTE LGBT+ IDVAs based in 4 services: Galop, LGBT Foundation, RISE and LGBT Birmingham.

11. Most services have no main source of funding. The management of multiple funders is an extra set of pressures for the LGBT+ specialist domestic abuse sector.

12. VAWG and domestic abuse organisations providing a specialist LGBT+ service are less likely to adopt key indicators for LGBT+ inclusion relevant to the needs of nonbinary and/or trans+ service users.

13. Partnership working appears to be underdeveloped; only a small number of services indicate referral pathways to their local MARAC suggesting that most others are not embedded in their local ‘coordinated community response’ to domestic abuse.

14. Two ‘by and for’ LGBT+ organisations are not funded to provide support for domestic abuse, but continue to deliver this work due to demand.

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The report made the below recommendations:

1. Increase and make long-term funding available for LGBT+ ‘by and for’ domestic abuse services. For example, Safelives’ Safe Fund report recommends that £10 million would be needed to ensure full provision for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse across England and Wales.6

2. Recognise that LGBT+ specialist domestic abuse services need time for recruitment and training, planning, and supervision to provide meaningful services.

3. Ensure sustainable funding to ensure both continued implementation of services and continued support for those programs once they are implemented.

4. Develop specific measures to ensure there is sustainable and accessible support for high-risk LGBT+ victims and survivors, including IDVA advocacy and refuge provision wherever they live. This should mean both an increase in the geographical coverage of specialist LGBT+ provision, and an increase in the capacity of existing services to meet local need.

5. Develop specific services/programmes for LGBT+ perpetrators.

6. Increase emergency accommodation and housing programs/provision for LGBT+ people and in particular for GBT+ men and non-binary people.

7. Increase training opportunities to further build/develop the capacities of practitioners supporting LGBT+ victims and survivors (including training on terminology and monitoring for sexual orientation and gender identities).

8. Training packages should be designed and delivered by specialist LGBT+ domestic abuse services or experts.

9. LGBT+ specialist training should be a requirement for all staff working with victims and survivors of domestic abuse and be embedded in available funding pots to allow organisations and services to work with external experts.

10. Promote and increase opportunities for partnership working with other relevant voluntary and statutory services to improve the support for multiple and complex needs of LGBT+ victims and survivors.

11. Encourage VAWG and domestic abuse organisations to establish close links with specialist LGBT+ domestic abuse services, to be able to signpost and make informed referrals.

12. Increase opportunities for LGBT+ ‘by and for’ domestic abuse services to develop referral pathways to their local MARAC and to become embedded in their local Coordinated Community Response to domestic abuse.

13. Provide funding for an independent evaluation of services for LGBT+ victims and survivors, to underpin the development of a framework of quality standards and best practice for the delivery of quality service

You can read the full report here.