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Unveiling the Reality: A Personal Reflection on Addressing Gender-Based Violence through the Lens of the LGBT Foundation’s Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Team

Published: December 4, 2023 by mbelfield

About LGBT Foundation:

Before we dive into this discussion, let me take a moment to shed light on the ethos of LGBT Foundation. Rooted in a passion for inclusivity and equality, we stand as a beacon of support for the LGBTQ+ community. Our commitment extends beyond advocacy; it’s a dedication to fostering a world where every individual, irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation, can live authentically and without fear and can live a life that is full of hope and joy.

Defining the Unseen Battles:

Gender-based violence is deeply entrenched in the roots of inequality, power imbalances, and societal norms that mercilessly affect individuals based on their gender identity. It’s a complex issue, one that reveals its ugly face in various forms within intimate partner relationships, transcending the boundaries of the gender spectrum. From physical violence to psychological abuse and everything in between, the intricacies of gender-based violence demand a comprehensive approach to dismantle its hold on society.

Facing the Harsh Realities in the UK:

Let’s delve into the numbers, the stark realities that linger behind closed doors. These statistics aren’t just cold figures; they represent the stories of real people. These statistics transcend mere data; they narrate the lived stories of individuals. A disconcerting one in four lesbian women and gay men has disclosed instances of domestic abuse from the age of 16. Save Lives underscores that bisexual women face an alarming likelihood—almost three times more than heterosexual women—of encountering various forms of domestic abuse. Additionally, domestic abuse affects over 50% more bisexual women than lesbians.

Furthermore, Galop’s recent Sexual Violence report unveils distressing figures from its LGBT+ survey respondents. A staggering 88% reported experiencing sexual harassment, while 77% faced sexual assault since turning 18. Notably, a significant majority (79% out of 755) of LGBTQ+ survivors indicated that the perpetrators of sexual violence were individuals known to them.

It’s not just about numbers; it’s about lives disrupted and voices silenced.

Becoming Architects of Change:

The call to action is both personal and collective. We want every individual to become an architect of change. It begins with awareness, challenging stereotypes, and providing unwavering support to survivors. Engage in workshops, contribute to online discussions, and share resources. Allies, your role is pivotal – amplify marginalised voices and champion policies that include everyone. Consider volunteering, attend training sessions, and stay informed; let’s collectively pave the way for change.

LGBT Foundation’s Guiding Hand:

Our commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals facing domestic abuse and sexual violence is unwavering. As the manager of the team, we as team extend a personal invitation to those aged 16 and above in Greater Manchester who want to talk about domestic abuse to call our helpline (Telephone: 0345 3 30 30 30) or email us (

During these 16 Days of Activism, catch us in the community, spreading awareness and offering information about our LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence support services.

Fostering Collaboration with Others:

Recognising that one size doesn’t fit all, we actively support organisations in developing LGBTQ+ specific or inclusive domestic abuse and sexual violence services. Collaboration is key. Let’s share knowledge, build safe spaces, and cater to the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community. If you’re in the field across the UK, let’s connect, let’s build a network that addresses the challenges faced by survivors head-on.

Ways to be an Activist Against Gender-Based Violence:

Now, let’s delve deeper into actionable steps individuals and organisations can take to be effective activists against gender-based violence, fostering a community of support, empathy, and lasting change.

  1. Community Engagement: Actively participate in local workshops and events focused on gender-based violence. These gatherings not only provide valuable insights but also create a space for dialogue, fostering a sense of community. By attending, you contribute to a collective effort to raise awareness, challenge stereotypes, and inspire change at the grassroots level.
  2. Online Advocacy: Engage in online discussions to amplify the conversation surrounding gender-based violence. Utilise social media platforms, forums, and online communities to share information, personal experiences, and resources. By leveraging the power of the internet, you extend the reach of your advocacy, creating a digital space where diverse voices are heard and acknowledged.
  3. Resource Sharing: Share resources widely to enhance awareness. Circulate informative articles, videos, and support materials within your networks. Educate others on the multifaceted nature of gender-based violence, encouraging open dialogue and understanding. By being a resource hub, you empower individuals to educate themselves and others, fostering a more informed and compassionate community.
  4. Allyship and Amplification: Be an ally by actively supporting and amplifying the voices of those who are marginalised and underrepresented. Advocate for inclusivity in all spaces, ensuring that diverse perspectives are heard and valued. Through allyship, you contribute to creating an environment where survivors feel supported and empowered to share their stories, breaking the silence surrounding gender-based violence.
  5. Advocacy for Inclusive Policies: Champion policies that are inclusive and sensitive to the diverse needs of all individuals. Advocate for the implementation of laws and regulations that address gender-based violence comprehensively, including provisions that protect LGBTQ+ individuals. Collaborate with local and national policymakers to influence positive change and ensure that the legal framework reflects the realities faced by all survivors.
  6. Volunteering with Dedicated Organisations: Make a tangible impact by volunteering with organisations dedicated to combating gender-based violence. Offer your time and skills to support survivors, whether through helplines, outreach programs, or community events. Volunteering allows you to directly contribute to the well-being of those affected, fostering a sense of connection and solidarity within the activist community.
  7. Continuous Education: Attend training sessions and workshops to continually educate yourself on the complexities of gender-based violence. Stay informed about evolving issues, emerging trends, and best practices in supporting survivors. By continuously educating yourself, you equip yourself with the necessary tools to be an effective advocate and ally.
  8. Collaborative Partnerships: Form collaborative partnerships with other individuals and organisations. Strengthening alliances allows for the pooling of resources, knowledge, and expertise, creating a more robust and interconnected network dedicated to combating gender-based violence. Through collaboration, activists can share experiences and strategies, leading to more effective and sustainable initiatives.
  9. Grassroots Initiatives: Initiate grassroots projects and campaigns within your community to address specific issues related to gender-based violence. These initiatives can range from awareness campaigns and educational programs to support groups and artistic expressions that highlight the impact of violence. Grassroots efforts have the power to create transformative change at the local level.

Let’s Talk, Let’s Act:

As we stand together during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, our call echoes with a personal touch. Engage in conversations, especially within the LGBTQ+ community. If you’re involved in this vital work across the UK, reach out to us at the LGBT Foundation. Let’s explore ways to develop your services and expand your knowledge. Together, let’s craft a world free from gender-based violence, where everyone can live authentically and without fear.

Closing Reflections:

For us, this isn’t just a campaign; it’s a journey, a shared experience. By understanding the intricacies of LGBTQ+ domestic abuse and sexual violence, actively advocating, and teaming up with organisations like ours, we’re steering towards a future where everyone, irrespective of their gender identity or sexual orientation, can break free from the chains of violence and fear. Let’s make it happen.

With heartfelt determination,

The Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Team LGBT Foundation

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