A helpline which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of domestic violence could close after the cancellation of its government funding.
The helpline is run by the charity Broken Rainbow. It offers information about housing, counselling, talking to the police and where to get legal advice.
Currently, the charity can only afford to have one person man the helpline at a time. They fear that this means many victims of domestic violence will be unable to get through, and that this may put them off trying again.
According to the charity’s service delivery manager Wendy Wilde, the helpline assisted over five thousand people last year.
“…there are very few other services for [LGBT victims] to go to and not one that offers national support in the way we do”.
Funding came primarily from the Home Office, but it also received money from a number of smaller grants. However, Jo Harvey-Barringer, Broken Rainbow’s managing director, said these grants were not sufficient to continue funding the helpline.
Getting the support of larger corporate funders was a challenge, she explained, because it was easier to support organisations which “aren’t confronting something unpalatable within [the LGBT] community”.
Last year, Broken Rainbow launched a campaign to raise awareness of domestic violence in LGBT relationships. They claimed that people in same-sex relationships were twice as likely to experience abuse as people in heterosexual couples.