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Day 8 - Gender Based Violence and LGBT+

Part of the Union's 16 Days against Gender Based Violence Campaign.

Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 LGBT+ women, however it can be difficult for survivors to recognise that they are being abused as the media representation of domestic abuse is primarily men abusing women. This impacts on LGBT+ survivors as the resources which are available are somewhat unknown, and they may not reach out to services due to fear of homophobia, transphobia, lesbophobia, etc. Another concern for LGBT+ women who take a stand against their abusers is the fear of having their gender or sexual identity revealed, particularly if the case goes to court.

LGBT+ women face issues within abusive relationships that heterosexual cisgendered people do not. This includes outing them and revealing their gender or sexual identity to people as a form of control. Their partners often take steps to undermine their sexual orientation and gender expression or identity. There is also the issue of underrepresentation in society regarding LGBT+ women who are in abusive relationships. This makes it harder for LGBT+ women to recognise that they are living through gender based violence as they may not relate to the resources and information which refer mostly to women in abusive relationships with men. 

Social isolation can play a part in survivors being unable to access support as the population of LGBT+ women is generally small in mainstream society – particularly in smaller towns and cities. If someone is not openly LGBT+ the survivor of gender based violence may feel as though there is no-one that they can talk to. The survivor may feel embarrassed about the abuse, may not know which support and resources are available for them to access, or their partner may isolate them from the wider LGBT+ community. 

There are always resources available for survivors of gender based violence, including LGBT+ people. Remember that you do not deserve to be living this way, it is not your fault, and there is help and support out there to help and support you:

  • Your Union's advice service has put together a list of contacts for those experiencing GBV at the following link:
  • LGBT Domestic Abuse Scotland ( has loads of information and resources relating to domestic abuse within LGBT+ relationships. This website is safe to visit if you are in an unsafe environment as it has an escape button at the top of the screen (HIDE ME) which redirects your browser to Google.
  • Stonewall Scotland ( which lists a number of resources which are available to survivors.
  • Broken Rainbow is a national LGBT+domestic abuse helpline which helps members of the LGBT+ community, their family, friends, and services which are providing support. They can be contacted at: 0300 999 5428.

You deserve to be loved, cared for, and supported. It will get better.