Galop has launched a Domestic Abuse Survivor’s Forum as part of its National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline Service.
The Forum, which will go live on Thursday, December 10th, 2020, is a safe, anonymous, online space for LGBT+ people who have been affected by domestic abuse. The forum will allow users to share their experiences, support one another and receive information and support from the team at the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline.
According to the charity the forum will introduce peer-to-peer support for its users.
Historically, domestic violence services have demonstrated how vital peer support spaces are for survivors of abuse. There are very few spaces where LGBT+ people can come together and share their experiences with abuse and receive support from those with the lived experience of being LGBT+. The LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Survivors Forum will provide this safe space for LGBT+ people to support one another.
How does the forum work and how are users kept safe?
The forum is accessible to all LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse so that they can read valuable information about abuse even if they do not feel ready to register and post themselves. In order to keep every user of the forum anonymous, all posts are moderated before they are made visible on the forum. This includes checks for identifying information (which is then edited out), abusive or harmful behaviour, and on the welfare of the poster.
The helpline team moderators can see the e-mails of users, so we can reach out to anyone if we’re concerned about their welfare or their behaviour on the forum. Our central focus is ensuring the forum is always safe and supportive for everyone that uses it, and at every stage of design and development, the needs of domestic abuse survivors and their safety have been key.
If someone wants to register, they can click ‘Join’ at the top of the forum, enter some demographic information that helps us understand who is accessing the forum, and register with an e-mail address and username. This is then checked by the team to ensure they can’t be identified from the username. The user is then sent a confirmation link, which takes them to set their password. This means no user is ever e-mailed their login details.
We’d welcome all our partners and other agencies that work with LGBT+ and/or domestic abuse survivors to promote the forum to their clients and service users, or to other organisations who can share this with LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse.