LGBT Domestic Abuse
Cat Everett
Domestic and Sexual Abuse Caseworker
Galop: who are we?
• The only pan-London LGBT anti-violence
Developed from grassroots campaign on
policing and hate crime
Grounded in direct work with victims of
homophobic and transphobic hate crime,
domestic and sexual abuse
Work in partnership with other voluntary
and statutory organisations but we are
independent from the police
Key Galop projects
• Pan-London hate crime project
• DAP - London LGBT Domestic Abuse
Partnership (including Broken Rainbow,
Pace, Stonewall Housing and
Young Person’s Domestic Abuse Project
Shine Project (Trans inclusive work)
Sexual violence/abuse project
What we do
• Advice, support and advocacy
• Non-police (third party) reporting via
telephone, face-to-face and on-line
Campaigns around LGBT violence and
abuse, strategic role on LGBT community
safety in London
Research: [email protected], Filling in the
My role
• Funded by Comic Relief until 2013
• I work 3 days a week with young people
(under 25) – remaining time with those of
all ages
I work with clients who have experienced
sexual and domestic abuse
Advice, information, advocacy
Emotional support
On going case work
Key issues for my clients
Civil law
Criminal law
Safety planning
Risk assessments
LGBT Domestic Abuse: key issues
Myths around LGBT domestic abuse
• It doesn’t happen to LGBT people
• Any abuse is mutual; it’s not about power
and control
• The victim/survivor and perpetrator can be
identified on physical presentation
• If it does happen, it is easier for LGBT
people to leave an abusive relationship
• The law does not protect LGBT people
Facts and figures
• Similar prevalence among LGB people to
heterosexual women
• Limited research into the experience of trans
• Lesbian and bi women at risk from former
heterosexual partners
• Under-reported
• When reported, this is often providers other than
the Police and/or domestic abuse and LGBT
LGBT DA: key issues
Issues that may have an impact include:
• Accessing support requires ‘coming out’
• Real or perceived homo/bi/transphobia
• Potential for isolation
– Arising from homo/bi/transphobia
– Alienation from families of origin
• Silence around sexual violence
• Housing and refuge provision for LGBT people
– Accessibility & secondary victimisation
• Access to role models
• Potential for unique forms of abuse
Unique forms of abuse
• ‘Outing’ (or threats) about sexual orientation/gender
• ‘Identity abuse’
– Reinforcing fears that no one will help
– Undermining someone's sense of identity
– Refusing to use preferred pronoun or name
– Withholding/destroying medication, hormones, clothes
– Normalising abuse in LGBT relationships
– Controlling access to social networks
• First same-sex relationship
• Identity of perpetrator(s)
– Former heterosexual partner
– Family and so-called honour based violence
Trans domestic abuse
• Criticising body, clothing or voice
• Destroying or withholding clothing,
medication, cosmetics etc
• Criticising for not being a ‘real man or
• Assaulting surgically or medically altered
body parts
• Forcing to expose surgical scars
• Exploiting internalised transphobia
Power and control wheel
Developed by Roe
and Jagadinsky
Adapted from the
Power and Control
Wheel developed by
the Domestic Abuse
Intervention Project,
206 West Forth
Street, Duluch, MN
Assessing risk for LGBT clients
• Power & Control Wheel: a helpful tool for
identifying abusive behaviours
CAADA-DASH RIC: Are you completing
Beware of buying into myths & stereotypes
Referring cases to MARAC
Common forms of emotional abuse
Isolated from friends
regularly insulted/put down
frightened by things your partner says/does
told what to do/who to see
isolated from relatives
made to do most housework
your spending controlled (men)
your age used against you
malicious/pestering phone calls
your education used against you
Common forms of physical abuse
physically threatened
restrained/held down/tied up
stalked/followed by partner
beaten up
locked out of house/room by partner
hit with an object/weapon
Common forms of sexual abuse
• had sex for sake of peace
• touched in way that caused
• forced into sexual activity
• hurt during sex
• 'safe' words/boundaries disrespected
• sexually assaulted/abused
• refused your request for safer sex
Barriers to accessing services
• Lack of understanding and awareness from
some service providers on LGBT community
• Concerns about real or perceived
• Use of terminology (inc. use of pronouns)
• Relationship with perpetrator relate to
• Feeling that non LGBT-specific services are
not for LGBT people
Barriers to accessing services
• Little trust (understanding) of police
• Fear of going to court
• Already feel marginalised in the
• Poor service from other providers
• Wider issues and complexities
• Lack of service provision- e.g. housing esp
Barriers to accessing services
• Feeling the incident is too minor to report or
that nothing can be done- previous
minimisation by professionals
• Not being taken seriously – previous bad
• Fear of reprisals from perpetrators
• Not wanting to disclose their identity or that
they are victim of a hate crime
• Wanting non-CJS outcomes – e.g. housing
How to address barriers
• Are you asking? Do you monitor?
• Avoiding heterosexism: Don’t assume
gender of partners
• Literature and advertising: is your service
LGBT friendly?
• Training: being comfortable with LGBT
• Don’t buy into myths and stereotypes
• Don’t minimise experiences
How to address barriers
• Allow victims time to talk, listen to them
and take their experiences seriously
• Be mindful of identity issues when giving
advice - not being afraid to ask others for
• Offer help to report incidents but explore
this as one option
• Safety planning and help with non-CJS
• Signpost or refer to other agencies
• Please feel free to ask any
questions you have!
Thank you!

LGBT Domestic Abuse Cat Everett Domestic and Sexual