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LGBT people's access to Welsh domestic and sexual violence services

Published: June 2014

Aim

The Welsh Government asked us to investigate the barriers lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people face in accessing appropriate services for domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and sexual violence (DASH/SV).

The study aimed to develop recommendations to inform the Welsh Government's forthcoming legislation on violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

You can read the report on the Welsh Government's website.

Findings

LGBT people in Wales face specific barriers to getting appropriate support for domestic and sexual violence, related both to their individual circumstances and to the structure and culture of available services.

  • LGBT people's experiences of DASH/SV often overlap with hate crime and hate incidents related to their sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, they may experience domestic abuse from family members, including threats to their life, when they 'come out' as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.
  • Many available services as single-gender (women-only or men-only), making it difficult for people who are transitioning between genders or who don't identify as male or female to know where to go for help.
  • Existing promotion of services is focused on heterosexual, cisgender women, which can mean that LGBT people feel that services aren't available for them, or are concerned that service providers won't understand their lives and relationships.

Methodology

We interviewed 18 professionals from a range of organisations across Wales, including domestic and sexual violence services, LGBT organisations, police and local councils. We also received 34 detailed, written submissions from LGBT of all ages living across Wales, and held a roundtable with key stakeholders to develop recommendations.

Read the report