Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) people in same sex relationships are more than twice as likely to have experienced domestic abuse, a charity has claimed.
The charity Broken Rainbow has launched a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the violence in the LGBT community, drawing attention to the fact that nearly half of gay and lesbian respondents to a 2013 survey said they had not reported domestic violence because they thought they would not be taken seriously. The charity’s helpline also received more than 4,000 calls last year.
Lord Brian Paddick, a Liberal Democrat peer and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, voiced support for the campaign. Recalling his own experiences of domestic violence, he said:
“I didn’t go to the police because I didn’t want to be open about my sexuality and the type of relationship I was in. I was too embarrassed. We need to be more open about this so that people in abusive relationships realise they are not alone.”
“Unacceptable behaviour in a domestic abuse setting can and tragically does escalate to violence. Despite the research, the experience and the good work by some police forces, there is little the police can do to combat emotional abuse.”
Broken Rainbow interim Managing Director Jo Harvey Barringer added: “Over the past 10 years Broken Rainbow has received more than 25,000 calls from members of the LGBT community in distress, with the number of calls continuing to have an upward trend.”