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 http://www.broken-rainbow.org.uk). 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: http://www.bdaf.org.uk.

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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