Reported by PinkNews – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
LGBT+ victims of domestic abuse are being forced to stay with their perpetrators because no refuge spaces are available, a leading charity has found.
The LGBT Foundation is currently “firefighting” to help the increased numbers of victims who are isolated from support networks during the coronavirus lockdown, a spokesperson told the i.
The charity says calls to its crisis helpline have doubled since March 23, as the pandemic compounds existing problems caused by a lack of space and understanding of the obstacles facing LGBT+ domestic abuse victims.
Due to funding cuts there are currently no LGBT-specific refuge services in England, and less than one percent of refuges provide specialist support to LGBT+ survivors. The only two that do are located in London.
“There is a very real danger that LGBT+ victims may slip through the net and be left without support, trapped in a situation that is very dangerous to them,” said Paul Martin OBE, chief executive of LGBT Foundation.
According to the charity Galop, LGBT+ domestic violence victims are more likely to be referred to their local authority to get on a housing list than find a refuge space.
What this means is that victims often end up returning to abusive partners as they face homelessness while waiting for the local authority to rehouse them.
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