We are committed to providing appropriate services for LGB and T* communities. As part of this commitment we have employed a Research and Development worker. We are creating services to be LGB and T* inclusive and if the need is expressed and funding can be obtained, specific services for LGB and T*
We are raising staff awareness of LGB and T* issues, changing heteronormative and cisnormative practices (in other words) doing things in ways that don’t assume heterosexuality and cisgender as the norm.
Another aspect of the work is to raise awareness of domestic abuse. Whilst it is important to acknowledge that most LGB and T* relationships are loving and equal, many are not. 1 in 4 LGB people and 8 out 10 Trans* people will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives and yet the take up of specialist abuse services is very low. This means that LGB and T* people are living with abuse without the support they need, and increasing their risk of danger and deterioration in mental and physical health.
We are also aware that domestic abuse can occur within families. Parents, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles can be abusive and this abuse can be due to homo/bi/transphobia.
We also recognise that whilst the experience of domestic abuse is the same for everybody, LGB people will experience domestic abuse differently, as will Trans* people.
At Pennine Domestic Violence Group we will;
Listen to you, believe you and offer you a safe space to talk
Respect your sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression
Respect your privacy and any concerns about giving personal information
Respect the choices you make for yourself and which work best for your life
Give you information that can help you make informed choices about what happens next
Work around what you want and need
Tell you about your rights and what you may need to do to get those
Support you whether or not you decide to take any action against the perpetrator
Let you know about other services which support LGB and T* people.
Find out more about our work in this short interview with Becky Wakefield talking about the LGB and T* experience of domestic abuse.
Not knowing just what happens to the information you give us about your situation can prevent people from reporting abuse. You may have additional worries about outing yourself and the person or people abusing you (you might feel some loyalty to the LGBT community). There are specific protections from the Data Protection Act 20relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. For more information regarding gender re-assignment click here http://gires.org.uk/law-archive/gra-2004 and for information regarding sexual orientation and data protection click here
Basically disclosing information about the sexual orientation or gender re-assignment to others without the permission of the person can constitute harassment. However, the following exceptions apply; if it is part of a criminal investigation; if there are safeguarding concerns, that is, if you or someone you know is at risk.
All staff within this organization will have access to your information. Staff have had training in data protection, information governance and confidentiality. This means they are trained and supported to protect your information being shared with others. The misuse of your data by staff will be dealt with through disciplinary procedures. Your information will only be shared where you give your consent and/or if you are at risk. For example, if you tell a member of staff that your partner sexually assaulted you this is what will happen;
Sharing Your Information
We understand how important it is for you to be clear about how we treat any information you share with us. Not knowing what happens to the information you give us about your situation can prevent you from reporting abuse. You may have additional worries about outing yourself and the person or people abusing you (you might feel some loyalty to the LGBT community).
We want you to be confident to access PDVG services and get access to support.
We want to reassure you that we rigidly adhere to specific protections from the Data Protection Act relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. For more information regarding gender re-assignment click here http://gires.org.uk/law-archive/gra-2004. This means that there are protections around sharing information about sexual orientation or gender re-assignment without the permission and can constitute harassment. However, the following exceptions apply; if it is part of a criminal investigation; if there are safeguarding concerns, that is, if you or someone you know is at risk.
All staff where appropriate, will have access to your information. PDVG staff are all committed to providing a sensitive service that respects and protects your personal details. Staff are trained in data protection, information governance and confidentiality. This means they are trained and supported to protect your information being shared with others.
REPORTING THE ABUSE
There are places you can contact to get the right support and help for your situation. Not knowing what is going to happen if and when you report or speak to someone about the abuse can be scary and might stop you from taking any action. Being LGB and T* you might be wary of the response you will get, or that you and your partner will be outed and the whole situation will be out of your control. This page is designed to give you as much information about your choices
REPORTING TO THE POLICE/EMERGENCY SERVICES
IN AN EMERGENCY PHONE 999
WHAT IS AN EMERGENCY -If your partner, ex or family member has hurt, injured, assaulted or is threatening to hurt you or you are frightened for your and others safety. You might be in danger and need the police to come and help you, you might be injured and in need of an ambulance to take you to the accident and emergency department.
WHAT WILL THE POLICE DO
Police will respond to 999 incidents and make it safe for victim by either removing the perpetrator or taking the victim to a place of safety. Victims immediate needs will be assessed and actions will be taking to safeguard (this could be supporting to a hospital for medical treatment). Police will take a statement regarding the current incident and victims can also report any historical abuse if they wish. If the victim is unsure as to whether they want to provide a statement or prosecute, the Police can arrange to give the victim some breathing space and time to consider and call in the next 48hours for victim’s decision. Police will complete a DASH risk assessment to assess the level of risk. Police will then offer immediate intervention based on the victims needs and wants, this could be temporary accommodation, taking victim to place of safety (family member), they can also support victim to collect any priority property (i.e. medication, ID). Police will ask for consent to signpost to other agencies who will contact victim for support (PDVG, NCDV, Victim support). This consent can be overridden if there are children involved or if Police feel the victim is particularly vulnerable (i.e. does not have the mental capacity).
PHONE 101 (when would you phone)
For non-emergency reports of crime. Therefore, if you and others are not at immediate risk of harm. 101 can be used to log crimes of harassment via phone, social media etc. I also advise if victim is being stalked to keep their own personal ‘stalking log’ which can be referred to and reported together if incidents are occurring on a regular basis.
MARAC – what is it and how will it affect you?
[The DASH risk assessment is used to determine the level of risk to a victim, high risk is indicated by 14 ticks or more. However, as every case is individual, it can also be based on professional judgement of risk and there are trigger questions which suggest an escalation of risk. All high-risk cases of Domestic abuse should be referred to MARAC; which is the Multi agency risk assessment conference. MARAC is a confidential conference and it is attended by professionals only, including Police, Social care, Housing, PDVG, Probation, NHS staff. The high-risk cases are discussed and relevant info is shared by partner agencies to ensure that all agencies are aware of any risks/concerns. Actions are then set out to safeguard the victim and all agencies are held accountable to the MARAC chair (Police). The victim does not have to consent for their case to be heard at MARAC due to the level of risk this can be overridden.
MARAC info will not be shared with the perpetrator, they will not be aware that the case is being heard at MARAC. It will affect victims by emergency interventions being put in place by agencies to minimise the risk of harm to the victim. If a case has been heard at MARAC within the last 12 months and there is another recorded incident of Domestic abuse, the case will be sent back to MARAC as a repeat to ensure that the risk can be monitored and that all support is provided to the victim.
IDVA – Independent Domestic Violence Advocate
Works with high risk victims of Domestic abuse, age 16 plus. IDVA is a short-term emergency intervention service, works with victims approx. 8-12 weeks implementing emotional and practical support to reduce the risk of harm. IDVA’s focus is supporting clients through the criminal justice system offering support throughout the process of perp being arrested and charged to conviction and sentencing.
ISVA – Independent Sexual Violence Advocate
Victim Support ISVA’s work across West Yorkshire. Works with victims of sexual abuse, offering emotional and practical support. ISVA’s focus is on supporting victims through the criminal justice system in regards to sexual abuse. Supporting victims from medical assessments through to trial, conviction and sentencing.
PHONE PDVG 24 HOUR HELPLINE 0800 052 7222
IDVA CAR SCHEME (What is it)
Pilot scheme between Police and PDVG where a staff member will be on an 8 hour shift with a Police officer responding to any Domestic incidents. The aim of the scheme is to provide a more victim focused approach at the initial stage of contact with Police and ensure the Police are considering the victim’s needs and wants. PDVG can offer the specialist knowledge of Domestic abuse and services available to support the victim, whilst the Police focus on the criminal aspects. The pilot is from Jan-April 2017. PDVG and Police will share strengths and weaknesses of the pilot to try and improve the service to victims of abuse. The hope is for PDVG and Police to get funding for a long-term partnership.
First LGB relationship?
Your first relationship can feel like it’s hard won, all those years thinking you were never going to meet anyone, that you were never going to come out and now you have met the person of your dreams. You might have come to this relationship relatively late on in life and previously been married or had relationships with people of the opposite sex. Research shows that LGB people in their first relationship are at increased risk of domestic abuse. Nobody else knows you’re LGB only your partner. They might try to isolate you by saying that your family and friends won’t ever accept you, that services won’t be able to help you, it will be full of homophobes.
Men who have sex with men this is a term used to describe men who don’t identify as gay or bi but who are sexually active with other men. It’s possible that you could be having sex with a man you don’t consider as your partner or who you are in relationship with. It is possible that you are being controlled by this man to perform sexual acts that you are not entirely comfortable with but that you are being threatened or coerced to do so in ways that make it impossible for you to stop the abuse.
Refuge/Safe Accommodation for Men
Currently we do not provide refuge accommodation for men, however, we are able to support men who are fleeing abuse to find refuge/safe accommodation.
A member or several members of your family might be bullying you, pressuring you not to express your gender identity, teasing you about your orientation and or forcing you to marry someone of the opposite sex. Some families force their family members to have ‘conversion therapy’ this aims to ‘cure’ the person of being gay, bisexual or trans*.
Non-acceptance by your family of your sexual orientation or gender identity can make you feel isolated. We know this could leave some feeling suicidal and likely to self-harming. It can leave you more vulnerable to exploitation and particularly if you are a young person fleeing the abuse, an increased risk of homelessness. For more information on homelessness for young LGB and T people see http://www.akt.org.uk/ See a film about Albert Kennedy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW7gVOpBcJ4
And a film from Albert Kennedy supporters about their coming out experiences
Why you stay
- You don’t see the relationship as abusive – you believe lgb and t* relationships aren’t abusive
- You believe services won’t see the behavior as abusive because it’s within lgb and t* relationship
- You believe services ‘won’t get it’
- You believe services will discriminate against you
Despite what many people might think and say, being lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans* is not easy for everyone. Yes, public attitudes have changed but prejudice, discrimination and stigma still exist.
Emotional and psychological abuse
- outing’ or threatening to out their sexual orientation, gender (identity, history or expression) or intersex status to friends, family, at work or to their cultural community;
- telling, or threatening to tell, others about HIV status (or other illness) without permission;
- applying pressure to a partner to act or look more “male” or more “female”;
- insistence that a partner must have medical treatment to appear more male or female;
- applying pressure to conform to a particular gender;
- applying pressure to have surgery to “normalise” a partner’s body, sex organs or physical appearance;
- applying pressure to go to chem sex parties
- preventing them from attending LGBT events and venues or other events;
This is a form of abuse and is any sexual act which is perpetrated without freely given consent and includes acts which are offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. There are many reasons why LGB and T communities don’t report whether it’s perpetrated by an intimate partner, heterosexist sexual violence or transphobic sexual violence. Research found that many gay men don’t see non-consensual sex as rape. Many false beliefs exist around sexual violence within same sex relationships which can be used by the perpetrator to minimise his/her behaviour and manipulate their partner into thinking that sexual violence is not occurring. Some of these beliefs are that women have equal power in a relationship, so the violence must be mutual. Sexual violence services offer services for women and men leaving non-binary communities excluded. Anyone can experience sexual violence and the reasons and reactions are similar but some LGB and T* people can have other issues such as prejudice, stereotyping and concerns about being ‘outed’ whether that’s about gender identity or sexual orientation.
Intimate partner sexual violence
This can include boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives/civil partners/someone you see at the cruising ground or in the sauna.
As a young person or someone new to same sex relationships you may feel pressured to engage in sexual activity to establish your identity and might feel coerced into sex or agree to have sex when you don’t really want to.
Research shows that a third of trans people experienced sexual abuse within a relationship. Many trans* people, particularly when transitioning can feel uncomfortable with their bodies, this discomfort can be used to put pressure on their partner to have sex that is unwanted and as a way to undermine their gender identity.
Heterosexist sexual violence
This is sexual violence where the perpetrator is heterosexual. Men and women can experience this differently, research tells us that lesbian women are more likely to experience sexual harassing behaviours in public space than men, whereas gay men are more likely to be exposed to physical violence in public spaces.
Information about consent
Deciding to disclose
Specific support services are available for those who have experienced sexual violence.
Helpline 01484 450040 Kirkless Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre
A hate crime can be committed against a person or property. It is any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice against a person who is LGB and T* or perceived to be. A hate incident is any non-crime incident. Repeated hate incidents are recognised as crimes.
Click here for more information about LGBT hate crime and how to report it locally.
Healthy LGB and T* relationships
Most lgb and t* relationships are respectful, loving and equal. Here are links to healthy relationship resources.
Are you in a healthy relationship – some questions to ask yourself
Everyone deserves to be in a safe and healthy relationship. Do you know if your relationship is healthy? Answer yes or no to the following questions to find out. Make sure to check the boxes to record your responses. At the end, you’ll find out how to score your answers.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Many people think that domestic abuse is only carried out by boyfriends/husbands/girlfriends/wives, however, you might be experiencing abuse from your parents, aunties and uncles. The abuse might be triggered by you coming out to them or that they think you are lgb or t*. Whatever the reason, there is no excuse for this behaviour and you area not to blame.
If you are feel threatened by behaviour from your friends or family, get help, phone the police or PDVG.
FFLAG – is a charity offering support to family and friends of LGB people (there isn’t a T* equivalent), however, the principles will be similar.
These helpful guides are available
How Do I Tell My Parents
A Guide for Family and Friends
SOME PERSONAL STORIES FROM VICTIMS OF ABUSE
See Another Closet http://www.anothercloset.com.au/real-life-stories/
Other local support for trans* people
Switch – A long running West Yorkshire social group for all trans people meeting every last Tuesday of the month at 6-8pm. Email: Switch@mesmac.co.uk; tel: 0113 2555209
SafeT – for transpeople offering advocacy, buddying, social contact, information and training. Web: http://www.safetuk.org/; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel 01274 395815
T-Boys – A Yorkshire wide support group for anyone assigned female at birth who considers themselves to be on the trans spectrum or is questioning their gender. Web: http://wwwtboysuk.webspace.virginmedia.com; Email: email@example.com; Tel: 07563 233 403
Trans +ve – a group for trans people from around the Bradford district, links with BME LGBT group. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: 01274 727759
Trans Wakefield – a social and support group for anyone with gender related issues in and around West Yorkshire. Web: http://transwakefield.yolasite.com/
TransBareAll – Promotes health and well-being for trans people. Web: www.transbareall,co.uk; Email:email@example.com: Tel: 07528 810047
GIRES – Information for trans people, their families and the professionals who care for them. Also produced an online learning course – http://www.gires.org.uk; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org; tel 01372 801554
Scottish Transgender Alliance – promoting LGB and T* equality and rights across Scotland. Web: http://www.scottishtrans.org/; Email: email@example.com; Tel 0131 467 6039
T Crime Reporting – website to report trans hate crime, set up by GIRES. Web: http://www.tcrime.net/
Useful LGB and T*Services in Kirklees
Sister Shout – lesbian and bi women’s group meets regularly in Huddersfield see http://womencentre.org.uk/
Yorkshire Mixtures – a group for young LGBTQ young people see www.thebrunswickcentre.org.uk
Hugg – a social group for gay and bi men meets regularly in Huddersfield see www.hugg.org.uk
The Brunswick Centre – a HIV charity providing support and prevention services around HIV including HIV testing and counselling. Particularly useful for men who are having sex with other men or questioning their sexual orientation (counselling is available). See www.thebrunswickcentre.org.uk