Throughout Pride Month every June, we celebrate the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) community, and acknowledge the people that, both historically and today, have advocated for the equal rights of this group. All through history, the LGBTQIA+ community have faced discrimination, marginalization and violence, and its important that amongst the Pride celebrations, we continue to work towards removing the barriers they face.

Domestic abuse in the LGBTQIA+ community is an issue with historically low awareness; generally considered to be a very gendered issue, and many fail to recognize the risks that LGBTQIA+ people face. 

In a 2018 study, almost one-third (29%) of LGBTQIA+ participants disclosed an incident involving someone they lived with because they identified as LGBTQIA+. SafeLives data also found a higher prevalence of all kinds of abuse for clients who identify as LGBTQIA+ compared to those that don’t. Members of the trans community in particular, face a high risk of domestic abuse, with research showing that almost three-quarters of transgender victim-survivors of domestic abuse, experience multiple types of abuse. 

Domestic abuse in the LGBTQIA+ community can also present differently than for heterosexual victim-survivors and pose different threats, for example threatening to out an individual as a kind of control and manipulation, and they can experience higher levels of abuse by family members. It is important to also acknowledge that these numbers have continued to increase since 2018, along with hate crime figures.

Domestic abuse in the LGBTQIA+ community often goes unreported, and LGBTQIA+ victim-survivors face systemic barriers in accessing support. Leeds Domestic Violence Service works to support all people and all gender identities, and through our Sanctuary Support Team (SST) we offer specialist support for LGBTQIA+ victim-survivors.

Case Study:

Alex (*not the client’s real name), identifies as non-binary, and uses she/they pronouns. They have been supported by the Sanctuary Support Team.

Alex was in a domestically abusive relationship with their perpetrator for a number of years, the suspect was a high-risk offender, and was known to several services. With the support of the Sanctuary Support Team, Alex was able to face and overcome triggering challenges, and develop their knowledge of healthy relationships and boundaries, safeguarding them against future abusive relationships. 

Alex was supported to stay safe from their perpetrator through extensive safety planning and Sanctuary Housing, and was then assisted in moving to alternative social housing. 

The support from Sanctuary Support Team, has allowed Alex to begin their recovery in a safe and stable environment, and make small steps to feeling more confident, developing their independence and now being able to look forward to what the future holds.

Leeds Domestic Violence Service recognizes that people experience domestic violence and abuse in different ways, and we support everyone in accessing the individual support that they need. We strive shed light on this topic beyond Pride Month. 

The LDVS Team will proudly be joining the Leeds Pride parade on the 21st July, to celebrate alongside the local community and raise awareness of the support available.

If you need advice or support, call our 24-hour helpline on: 0113 246 0401. 


Government Equalities Office, National LGBT Survey: Research Report. Government Equalities Office, London, 2018: uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/721704/LGBTsurvey-research-report.pdf

SafeLives, Free to be Safe: LGBT People Experiencing Domestic Abuse. SafeLives, Bristol, 2018: www.safelives. safe%20web.pdf