Message from MP Kerry McCarthy

Domestic Violence should never be tolerated. Victims who endure abuse in same-sex relationships suffer the same immense pain, heart-ache and fear as those who are in heterosexual relationships. The consequences of Domestic Violence are as equally as devastating for them and the traumatic sense of helplessness and isolation that victims bear should not be forgotten or go unsupported.  As we celebrate LGBT History Month it is vital that we seek to help those who are suffering by raising awareness of the support, advice and protection that is available to LGBT victims and their friends and families.


Trying to get out of an abusive same sex relationship can be especially traumatic. Victims often feel a great sense of shame and can be deterred from seeking support or reporting the abuse because they fear being publicly ‘outed’. Don’t be deterred. As an LGBT person you have the same legal right to protection, support and advice as anyone else. If you are in an abusive relationship or know anyone who is – don’t be afraid to seek professional support and protection. Bristol Domestic Abuse Forum (BDAF) and other specialist charities, such as Broken Rainbow, provided confidential support and advice that can help you stop Domestic Violence.


Message from MP Dawn Primarola

During my time as an MP many people have approached me for help because they are in violent and abusive relationships.  I’m aware how difficult the circumstances can be but my advice would be not to suffer in silence and don’t be afraid to seek help.

You’re not alone – there are many excellent sources of support and advice available to you, regardless of whether you are in a male/female or same sex relationship, such as Bristol Domestic Abuse Forum  Take a look.

Message from Broken Rainbow

Most people think Domestic Violence is about women being abused by men. But research shows 1 in 4 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experience
domestic violence too.

Given how prevalent domestic violence is, the shocking fact is most
survivors do not seek help or go to the police, even when in real danger.
Most LGBT people fear they will be misunderstood and discriminated against.
Some often feel helpless and wonder whether there is anyone who can actually help.

Broken Rainbow UK is the only National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline
providing confidential support to all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Trans (LGBT) communities, their family & friends, and agencies
supporting them.

The helpline provides confidential listening support, a space where you can
talk through what’s going on, and explore your options.

Helpline: 0300 999 5428 (LGBT)
(LGBT = 5428 on telephone keypad) for general helpline advice for office queries

Message from Barbara Janke, Council Leader

We see a lot of images that suggest domestic violence and abuse only happens in relationships between a man and a woman, but we know this isn’t true. Domestic abuse within the LGBT community might be more hidden, but it still happens, and it is still not right.

Everyone has the right to live their lives free of violence, abuse or fear, whatever their sexuality or gender identification. No-one deserves to be abused or hurt. Anyone who tells you that you provoked the abuse is wrong.

If you’re living with the domestic abuse, or have a partner who makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, there is help available for you, whether you’re thinking about leaving or just want to talk to someone. Broken Rainbow is a national helpline that you can call (0300 999 5428 In Bristol, Victim Support and Wish both provide help to men and women who have experience domestic violence and abuse, whatever their sexuality; Next Link also work with any women who have experienced domestic violence and abuse.

There is also a lot of information about sources of support and things to think about at the Bristol Domestic Abuse Forum website:

Talking about abuse can be very difficult, especially in a small community, but there are people – maybe professionals, maybe your friends or family – who will reach out to support you, whenever you’re ready to take that step.

And you can always come back here, and read some of these messages, to remind yourself that there are people out there who believe you and support you.

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Welcome to Messages From The LGBT Community

This blog will go live in January/February 2010 for messages from the LGBT community in Bristol around domestic violence and abuse.

If you’re interested in being kept up to date but don’t have a WordPress blog, please email

Support Services

We know that across the UK, one in four women will experience domestic violence and abuse in their lifetimes. Although there aren’t such clear figures for people in same sex relationships, we know that domestic violence and abuse happens there too.

Maybe you’ve experienced domestic violence and abuse yourself, either now or in the past. Maybe you know someone who has. Maybe you’re worried about your own behaviour, or maybe you just feel upset by reading this and want someone to talk to.

Help is out there.

Broken Rainbow: National, confidential helpline for LGBT people experiencing domestic violence and abuse. Open Monday 2.00-8.00pm; Wednesday 10.00am-1.00pm; Thursday 2.00-8.00pm. Call 0300 999 5428 or go to

Bristol Domestic Abuse Helpline: 24-hour, free, confidential phone line for any victims of domestic violence and abuse. Call 0800 6949 999

Men’s Advice Line: National, confidential, free helpline for any male victims of DVA. Open Mon – Fri 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm. Call 0808 801 0327 or go to

National Helpline: Women’s Aid and Refuge national, confidential, free helpline for any female victims of DVA. Open 24 hours. Call 0808 200 247

Respect Phoneline: National, confidential helpline for anyone worried about their own behaviour. Open Mon – Fri 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm. Call 0845 122 8609 (charged at local rate) or go to

Victim Support: City-wide Bristol-based service working with male and female victims to provide emotional support. Call 0845 456 6099 or go to

Wish: Hartcliffe/Knowle/Withywood based service working with male and female victims, including high risk victims, to provide emotional and practical support. Call 0117 903 8632 or go to

Next Link: City-wide Bristol-based service working with female victims, including high risk victims, to prove emotional and practical support, including offering a safe house service. Call 0117 925 0680 or go to

BDAF website: The website of Bristol Domestic Abuse Forum, which contains loads of information about services in Bristol, what DVA is, training, campaigns and resources. Go to