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June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. For that reason, we, from IRISi, have created the campaign “FIND YOUR WAY TO ASK”. We want to help to change a paradigm among healthcare professionals. We want to show why it is so important to know how to ask all patients about domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and our focus here is on how to ask about gender identity and sexuality.

There is a clear relationship between sexual orientation, gender identity and DVA. This means that LGBTQ+ people are suffering from specific impacts on their mental, physical, and sexual health. If you work within the healthcare sector, there is a way of improving your ability to recognise and respond to this: if you learn your own way to ask and approach it.

A patient who feels properly seen and heard during consultations is much more likely to disclose whatever is happening for them when they are asked about DVA. For that reason, we worked in partnership with Galop, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity in the UK, to provide key information to strengthen advocacy for LGBT+ survivors.

Here are six key findings from Recognise & Respond: Strengthening Advocacy for LGBT+ Survivors of Domestic Abuse Relating to LGBT+ Survivors”, a document produced by Galop.

01 – #FindYourWayToAsk: What we know about prevalence

  • 1. More than one in four gay men and lesbian women and more than one in three bisexual people report at least one form of domestic abuse since the age of 16.
  • 2. Lesbian women report similar rates of domestic abuse to that of heterosexual women.
  • 3. Bisexual women are twice as likely to disclose intimate partner violence compared to heterosexual women.
  • 4. Gay and bisexual men might be twice as likely to experience domestic abuse compared to heterosexual men.
  • 5. Prevalence rates of domestic abuse may be higher for transgender people than any other section of the population.

02 – #FindYourWayToAsk: What we know about the nature of abuse

  • 1. Though LGBT+ survivors share similar forms of domestic abuse as their heterosexual peers, LGBT+ people’s experiences of abuse are also frequently linked to their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • 2. Experiences of abuse may include physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence and other forms of violence and abuse that sit within the framework of gender-based violence.
  • 3. LGBT+ survivors are not a homogenous group. Experiences of abuse can differ across and between identities.

03 – #FindYourWayToAsk: What we know about the barriers in access to services

  • 1. LGBT+ survivors face distinct systemic and personal barriers in accessing services, related to their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • 2. LGBT+ domestic abuse appears vastly underreported.
  • 3. LGBT+ survivors are disproportionately underrepresented in voluntary and statutory services, including criminal justice services.

04 – #FindYourWayToAsk: What we know about the specialist DA services for LGBT+

  • 1. To meet the multiple and complex needs of LGBT+ survivors, LGBT+ specialist services provide a broad range of services and often work outside of their geographical remit and beyond their capacity.
  • 2. LGBT+ specialist services often work on many intersecting social issues and frequently support public, private and voluntary sector bodies and inform policy agendas.
  • 3. LGBT+ specialist services and programs may be delivered by LGBT+ organisations, domestic abuse services, or have been set up within a specific partnership, consortium or network.

05 – #FindYourWayToAsk: How the specialist DA services for LGBT+ are coping

  • 1. LGBT+ specialist domestic abuse services are largely unavailable within many local authority areas in England and Wales. By end of June 2019 there were six voluntary sector providers delivering LGBT+ specialist services based in Birmingham, Brighton & Hove, London and Manchester.
  • 2.  LGBT+ specialist Independent Domestic Violence Advisors are hosted by four services, Galop, Birmingham LGBT, Independent Choices Greater Manchester, and RISE.
  • 3. There are limited refuge options for LGBT+ people and housing providers do not always recognise that they have a duty towards LGBT+ survivors. Gay, bisexual and trans men are particularly affected by this.

06 – #FindYourWayToAsk: Specialist DA services for LGBT+ main goals

  • 1. Where integrated into a domestic abuse service, LGBT+ specialist programmes can have positive impact on services as well as survivors.
  • 2. Despite a demonstrated need for specialist services, funding and commissioning remain major challenges.

If LGBT+ survivors can’t safely identify themselves with professionals, then they cannot be risk assessed accurately and supported.

If you need help, get in touch with the National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline number: 0800 999 5428. You can also email Galop at help@galop.org.uk.


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AVA is an expert, groundbreaking and independent charity working across the UK.

Their vision is a world without gender based violence and abuse. They aim to  inspire innovation and collaboration and encourage and enable direct service providers to help end gender based violence and abuse particularly against women and girls.AVA’s work is focused around those areas where they can make the best contribution to ending violence and abuse. They do this by making sure that survivors get the help and support they need in the here and now, through providing innovative training that has a proven direct impact on the professional practice of people supporting survivors of violence and abuse

developing a range of toolkits, e-learning and other material that supports professionals to provide effective and appropriate support to survivors of violence and abuse

using our influence and networks to ensure survivors voices are heard. We work closely with AVA in many areas including the Pathfinder project



SafeLives are a national charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for good. We combine insight from services, survivors and statistics to support people to become safe, well and rebuild their lives. Since 2005, SafeLives has worked with organisations across the country to transform the response to domestic abuse, with over 60,000 victims at highest risk of murder or serious harm now receiving co-ordinated support annually. SafeLives are members of the Pathfinder consortium.



Imkaan is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation. We are the only national second-tier women’s organisation dedicated to addressing violence against Black and minoritised women and girls i.e. women and girls which are defined in policy terms as Black and ‘Minority Ethnic’ (BME). The organisation holds nearly two decades of experience of working around issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage and ‘honour-based’ violence.

They work at local, national and international level, and in partnership with a range of organisations, to improve policy and practice responses to Black and minoritised women and girls. Imkaan works with it’s members to represent the expertise and perspectives of frontline, specialist and dedicated Black and minoritised women’s organisations that work to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. Imkaan delivers a unique package of support which includes: quality assurance; accredited training and peer education; sustainability support to frontline Black and minoritised organisations; and facilitation of space for community engagement and development. They are a part of the Pathfinder Consortium.


The University of Bristol CAPC
The University of Bristol CAPC
The University of Bristol CAPC

The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.  It is part of Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.

A dedicated team of researchers at the Centre work on domestic abuse projects and IRISi is a co-collaborator and partner on some of these projects including ReProvide, HERA and DRiDVA.

The Health Foundation
The Health Foundation
The Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK. The Health Foundation’s Exploring Social Franchising programme aims to generate a deeper understanding of the potential of social franchising models for scaling effective health and social care interventions within the NHS.

We are one of four project teams participating in the programme to develop a social franchise to enable the sustainable spread of our intervention, the IRIS Programme. We receive funding and support from the Health Foundation, including technical expertise on social franchising, and attend programme learning events. The Health Foundation has also commissioned a programme-wide evaluation to support understanding of the use of social franchising in the UK health and care system. We and our franchisees will support the evaluation through co-designing data collection requirements, providing access to data as requested, hosting site visits and attending learning events.



Standing Together Against Domestic Violence is a UK charity bringing communities together to end domestic abuse. They bring local services together to keep people safe

Most public services weren’t designed with domestic abuse in mind, and they often struggle to keep people safe. Poor communication and gaps between services put survivors at risk.

STADV aim to end domestic abuse by changing the way that local services respond to it. They do this through an approach that they pioneered, called the Coordinated Community Response. The Coordinated Community Response brings services together to ensure local systems truly keep survivors safe, hold abusers to account, and prevent domestic abuse.

Their model of a coordinated local partnership to tackle and ultimately prevent domestic violence is now widely accepted as best practice. They are also a part of the Pathfinder consortium.


Spring Impact
Spring Impact
Spring Impact

Spring Impact is a not-for-profit social enterprise born out of the frustration of seeing social organisations constantly reinventing the wheel and wasting scarce resources. Spring Impact uses a combination of tested commercial and social principles and extensive practical expertise to support organisations to identify, design and implement the right social replication model to scale their social impact.

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