LGBT charity welcomes Welsh minister’s commitment to do more to improve LGBT domestic violence services.
Broken Rainbow UK, the LGBT domestic violence charity, welcomes Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh Minister for Local Government commitment to introduce an LGBT-inclusive bill later this month to reform domestic abuse services.
Responding to research into the barriers faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in accessing domestic violence services, conducted on behalf of the Welsh Government and published last week Griffiths stated, ‘Regardless of their gender or sexuality, everyone should feel they can access free and confidential support if they are experiencing domestic abuse, harassment or sexual violence.
‘While the research published today identifies some examples of promising practice underway in Wales, there is more we and service providers can and must do tackle this crime and to promote the support services available to all victims.’
Shannon Harvey, Senior Researcher at NatCen Social Research, referring to the research, explains how it, ‘demonstrates how a narrow focus on the needs of heterosexual, cisgender women can leave LGBT people feeling that these services aren’t appropriate for them.
‘These LGBT people’s experiences of abuse remind us that even while patriarchy may be an explanation for many women’s experiences of victimisation, if we accept that violence is about power and control, we must acknowledge that other dimensions of power and inequality can play a part too.’
Jo Harvey Barringer, Managing Director (Interim), Broken Rainbow UK, echoed Shannon Harvey’s concerns for trans people experiencing domestic violence, ‘Despite legal protections in place for trans people this research suggests, in line with our own experiences of supporting callers to our helpline, that trans* women can still face difficulty in accessing women-only refuges.’
Broken Rainbow UK was pleased to announce during their first ever awareness month this May that they are also removing barriers to accessing their own services for individuals that cannot afford to call their helpline, with the introduction of a parallel Freephone 0800 number sponsored by BNP Paribas.
‘We know that members of the trans community can often be amongst the poorest members of the LGBT communities with increased difficultly in gaining employment, so we believe our new 0800 number combined with our existing 0300 will ensure everyone needing support can reach us’, Wendy Wilde, Service Delivery Manager, Broken Rainbow UK.