Galop – Guide – Commissioning for inclusion: Delivering services for LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse

Galop launches new guide 
“Commissioning for inclusion: 
Delivering services for LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse”

to encourage and support commissioners, services, policy-makers, and the government to work in partnership to better meet the needs of LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse.  

LGBT+ people in the UK experience significant levels of domestic abuse but LGBT+ survivors face a range of additional and distinct barriers in access to services, which makes it less likely that they will seek help and support. The needs of LGBT+ people are also often absent in both commissioning guidance and practice. 

LGBT+ specialist domestic abuse services are unavailable within most local authority areas in England and Wales. By the end of June 2019, there were six voluntary sector providers delivering LGBT+ specialist support for those affected by domestic abuse, with Independent Domestic Violence Advisors for LGBT+ survivors hosted by four services. There is a lack of access to counselling and other forms of support for LGBT+ people. Emergency safe spaces are limited, and housing providers do not always recognise that they have a duty towards LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse. There are also no specific NOMS-accredited or other programs for family members or LGBT+ people who perpetrate domestic abuse.

Galop is calling on the government, commissioners, and services to reflect on how they can work together to better meet the needs of LGBT+ domestic abuse survivors. We hope that this guidance can be used to facilitate a dialogue at a local, regional, and national level about the ways to build, develop and sustain domestic abuse support tailored to the needs of LGBT+ people.

To slow the spread of COVID-19and ensure that the NHS was able to cope with demand, a second set of government measures came into force on November 5, 2020 asking people to obey social distancing, stay at home, and work from home where possible.  At Galop, we know that home may not be a safe place for many LGBT+ people. We also know that, at the moment, the LGBT+ community is facing a unique set of circumstances that disproportionally affect mental health, social interactions, access to safe spaces, healthcare and other services.

During these challenging times, it is vital to break the silence, reach out, and remind LGBT+ survivors that they are not alone, and that services exist which are willing and able to help them in their journey to feeling safe and supported.

Galop’s new guide, “Commissioning for inclusion: Delivering services for LGBT+ survivors of domestic abuse”, is structured around the main four stages of the commissioning cycle. It features checklists, for both commissioners and service providers, identifying the key actions from each stage and providing practical suggestions relating to the needs of LGBT+ survivors.

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