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Women's Programme Campaign Launch: Lesbian and Bisexual Women & Abuse

Published: 30 June 2016 Tags: launch, womens programme, abuse By John Walding

July 1st marks the launch of the Women's Programme campaign for lesbian and bisexual women on abuse.

25% of lesbian and bisexual women reported having been a victim of domestic abuse, this is the same percentage as the rest of the population.

Research from the USA also suggests that lesbian and bisexual women have a higher lifetime prevalence for rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner than heterosexual women.

Also, often because of their identities, lesbian and bisexual women experience multiple barriers to reporting and accessing support following abuse, including fears around coming out to professionals and feeling that they won’t be taken seriously if the perpetrator is a woman; fears around bringing shame on their communities, social, cultural and religious, and fears that others will assume that that they are lesbian or bisexual because of the abuse or that the abuse occurred because they are lesbian or bisexual.

LGBT Foundation’s women’s Programme wants to use this campaign to support lesbian and bisexual women who have been affected by abuse and the community in general by:

- raising awareness of our experiences of abuse
- empowering us to better understand what abuse is
- and help us work together to get support and be supportive.

We will kick off the campaign with our social media discussion around key areas of abuse including myths, fears, consent, support networks and shame, using the tag #LBQwomensvoices

We want as many lesbian, bisexual, queer and questioning women to get involved, give their opinion and show solidarity with those who have been affected by abuse. We will also be sharing the stories that have been submitted to help raise awareness of our experiences of abuse. Click here to read these stories.

Throughout the social media campaign we will be promoting our new free resource ‘What is abuse?: a guide for lesbian and bisexual women'. Click here to download a copy. We also have hard-copies of this resource which we will be distributing to local organisations and events. We want this resources to reach everyone and anyone who might need it, so please help us by sharing our posts on social media and getting in touch if you know of somewhere we should send them to!

We will also be promoting our free event 'Lesbian and Bisexual Women & Violence, Abuse and Coercive Control', which takes place on 14th July, 5:45-9:30pm at MMU Business School. Click here for more information and to book your place. We have an important and inspiring line-up for that event and there will be opportunities to talk to local services, share your experiences and think about ways that we can all support lesbian and bisexual women who have been affected by abuse.

There are some travel bursaries and free childcare available for those who would otherwise not be able to attend, so please email Claudia if this applies to you.

Additionally, if you are coming to the event, please email Claudia for the following:

- If you have any access requirements, including BSL interpreters or language interpreters
- If you feel that your culture or religion will be impacted upon by attending this event
- If you are a lesbian or bisexual woman who has been affected by abuse and you want to share your story and experiences on the night, both anonymously or in person. In order to ensure that the event is representative of all lesbian and bisexual women, we are particularly looking for BAMER, trans, disabled, older and young lesbian and bisexual women to share their experiences

If you want to get involved in the campaign in any other way, including helping out at the event or distributing resources, please get in touch: [email protected]

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