Broken Rainbow Quotes
Our helpline is somewhere to turn to so LGBT people can talk about issues where the professional will understand the cultural issues and context.
Rita Hirani, Interim CEO
Mental abuse often includes threatening to out someone to family, friends or even their work. This can add extra pressure to an already terrible situation. We are working in partnership with UNISON South East's LGBT Committee, to support those experiencing LGBT DV and the fall out that can occur in their professional life.
Joe Barringer, Chair
One main problem with raising awareness of LGBT abuse is the denial. The term "domestic violence" is perceived as something akin to alcoholism, ("I don't sit on a park bench drinking") and people do not see that they are perpetrating or are a victim of DV because they have a set idea about what it is.
We have to become honest about the problems within the LGBT community as well as the joys.
Denial within our community is doubly damaging. We need to open our eyes to what's going on. Research shows that domestic violence in same sex relationships is just as high as it is in heterosexual ones. Awareness and acknowledgement is low and there is a lack of services for victims to access.
There is a misconception that LGBT people are always going to dance parties, spending their 'pink pound' and enjoying themselves. The reality for many LGBT people is that our lives can be scarred by poverty, discrimination, homophobia and domestic violence. We need to make these issues public and demand services which will combat these inequalities.
"Count Me In Too": Recent research has highlighted both the prevalence of domestic abuse within LGBT communities, and huge gaps in service provision. It is absolutely crucial that we, as professionals and people within communities, work to put LGBT DV on the national and local agenda in order to address some of these gaps - gaps which exist both in a cultural understanding of the dynamics of domestic abuse within LGBT communities and within direct service provision itself. Domestic abuse affects the lives of both the people directly involved and those who surround them; in short this is everyone's business and everyone's responsibility and cannot afford to be ignored, either as individuals or as a society.
Jess Taylor, Safe as Houses
LGBT Domestic Abuse is a bit of an 'elephant-in-the-room' type situation: we all know it's there, we probably all know someone who has experienced it, but too many of us would still rather tip-toe round it than face the reality. Maybe it's the shame factor - we're all so busy trying to convince the rest of society that gay people are fine, upstanding citizens that we can't accept we have the same flaws as everyone else. Yet our community would actually be so much stronger if it did.
Iona Fiesta, OUTSKIRTS editor
One turning point for me was separating my love for the original woman I'd met with the fact that I couldn't change her, and that the negative side and behaviour she was directing towards me was not my fault and would not end. Her behaviour would carry on and transfer to something else and get worse the whole time I carried on accepting it. Domestic violence is a downward spiral. Once it's started it won't stop or get better unless positive action is taken.
Pauline, LGBT DV survivor, London
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