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The darker side: domestic violence in LGBT+ relationships | Pepperells

The darker side: domestic violence in LGBT+ relationships

The darker side: domestic violence in LGBT+ relationships

When we think about domestic violence it is easy to get caught in the stereotype of the “battered woman” being controlled and coerced by an abusive husband. This is not always the case.

We continue our Pride in Hull week today with a look at one of the darker sides but an area that requires greater awareness is abuse in LGBT relationships, it is a genuine challenge which needs to be addressed. Many studies estimate that one in four LGBT+ people experience domestic abuse, with one in seven gay men suffering physical violence.

Rosalind Smith, solicitor

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone who is or has been in an intimate partnership regardless of gender or sexuality. It includes psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse as well as physical. Those experiencing domestic abuse are often vulnerable and feel unable to seek help and support for a variety of complex and often little-understood reasons.

Gay, bisexual and trans partners often find themselves in an even more vulnerable position. Sometimes, sexuality or gender identity can be used by an abuser to bully, humiliate or blackmail their partner. Sufferers may feel that they will have a lack of sympathy from family or friends because of prejudice or aversion. They might feel unable to access traditional domestic violence support services in case they do not cater for homosexual relationships or for fear of the support staff being judgmental. Often people fear discussing intimate personal matters with strangers and with the added perceived stigma of an LGBT relationship, it is an intimidating step to take.

We are experienced in listening to sensitive and personal matters and we do not judge or discriminate on sexuality or gender and we are proud advocates for equality. If picking up the phone is worrying for you, you can contact us through our online contact form and we can arrange to email or telephone you at a preferred time.

Nowadays there is greater, and often specialised, support available for LGBT survivors of domestic abuse. Support is also available for children, to help them understand and deal with abuse that they may have been exposed to.

In Hull, the Domestic Abuse Partnership offer support for all sufferers of domestic abuse, visit www.hulldap.com/support/lgbt and you can access their support page for LGBT people.

There is never a need to suffer in silence, at Pepperells we can and will help, and if we don’t have the answer, we’ll find the person who does.

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