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System failing LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse, new report warns

LGBT+ victims almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide

Victims of domestic abuse who identify as LGBT+ are almost twice as likely to have attempted suicide, according to a new report from SafeLives.

LGBT+ victims reported much higher rates of complex needs. LGBT+ victims and survivors are also more than twice as likely to have self-harmed (32% vs 14%)  and more likely to experience mental health problems (51% vs 38%).

The charity says that the findings of Free to be Safe highlight the urgent need for specialist support.?

Suzanne Jacob, Chief Executive of SafeLives, said: 

"Domestic abuse is about power and control, and can happen to anyone, in any kind of relationship. For too long the narrative around domestic abuse has been about stereotypes, and this has prevented LGBT+ victims from accessing the support they need. We know that this needs to change. 

"We hope that this report can begin to shine a light on the experiences of LGBT+ survivors, so that we can work together to make sure no one has to face domestic abuse alone. We won't stop until every victim and survivor gets the right support to stay safe and well – whoever they are."

According to the report, victims and survivors who identify as LGBT+ are not accessing support at the same rate as the general population, and are unlikely to report the abuse to the police. There are still too many misconceptions and stereotypes around what a 'typical victim' of domestic abuse looks like – meaning that too often LGBT+ victims are 'hidden', because no one has asked them the question. 

For the report, click here.