Child looking through rope by mazzimage.com

Domestic Abuse, Honour Based Abuse & Forced Marriage

Domestic abuse occurs in same sex and transgender relationships too. Domestic abuse is experienced by anyone regardless of sexuality, age, gender origin, class, disability, race or religion. There is no excuse for domestic abuse towards any person and in any relationship at any time.

You may identify with the man in the video, if so; there is lots of support available in Oxfordshire where you will be taken seriously.

How do I know I am in an abusive relationship?

Abusive partners in LGBT relationships use the following types of abuse to gain power and control over their partners (the same as abusive partners exercise control in heterosexual abusive relationships):

  • Psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse

Abusive partners in LGBT relationships use these tactics to maintain power and control alongside the complexities a survivor faces in leaving or getting safe in from an abusive LGBT relationship. The LGBT power and control wheel shows the different tactics and abuses used:

Power and Control Wheels

(Adapted from 2011 Duluth Model Power and Control Wheels by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs)

Myths associated with LGBT Domestic Violence & Abuse:
  • An abuser will often manipulate their victim so that they feel they are to blame for the abuse. An abusive partner may say “this is how it is in a lesbian/gay/bisexual/trans* relationship”. There is nothing normal, appropriate or justifiable about LGBT domestic violence and abuse.
  • An abuser may also play on myths about domestic violence and abuse to prevent his/her victim from seeking help by saying support services and reporting agencies are homophobic/ transphobic. In reality, the police have dedicated LAGLOs (Lesbian & Gay Liaison Officers) who are on hand to help.
  • Abusers may attempt to convince their partner that no one will help them and that they are not entitled to legal protection from abuse from a same sex partner. This is not true.
  • A common myth is that domestic violence and abuse does not happen in LGBT relationships. Actually the reality is 1 in 4 people are abused by a partner at some point in their lives. Abuse is never OK and nobody deserves to be abused.
LGBT, Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage:
  • LGBT individuals may be at increased risk of honour based abuse and forced marriage.
  • So-called ‘Honour Based Abuse’ may happen in any culture or community with strong ideas of family honour and shame. Threats, violence and coercion are used to control individuals’ behaviour and this may be via a forced marriage.
  • Stonewall Housing has been funded by the Forced Marriage Unit to produce a new on-line resource that gives advice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT) people who are at risk of forced marriage. Leaflets are available in different languages here.
How do I safety plan?
  • Have a secret code to signal for help with a friend/neighbour so they are aware of when you need assistance
  • Have a small bag ready with essentials (medication, civil partnership/marriage/birth certificates, bank information, passport, money etc) you may need should you have to flee the property in an emergency. Alternatively, leave this bag with a neighbour or friend
  • Have some money stored should you need to use public transport to leave the property
  • Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers
  • If you are thinking of leaving the property make sure it is the safest time to do so, for example, whilst your partner is away from the property
  • Take special care if you are considering leaving the home. Risk for a victim is highest when leaving their partner or shortly after, so make sure arrangements are in place or you know where to go should there be an emergency situation.
Domestic Abuse and Homelessness

There are options for people facing homelessness due to domestic abuse. You can contact the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline to see if they can find a refuge space for you. A refuge is somewhere safe to stay and can be anywhere in the UK.

There is also national organisation called Refuge who provide a 24 hour service for people needing assistance.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence can also help by applying for emergency injunctions and occupation orders which might enable you to remain in home and exclude the other person if it is felt safe to do so. You can also speak to a local solicitor who should be able to assist to. Please see contact numbers below for these services.

Am I Homeless?

Broadly speaking, somebody is statutorily homeless if they do not have accommodation that they have a legal right to occupy, which is accessible and physically available to them (and their household) and which it would be reasonable for them to continue to live in. It would not be reasonable for someone to continue to live in their home, for example, if that was likely to lead to violence against them (or a member of their family).

For further information, please see: The Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities

What can I do?

You can go to your local council and ask for assistance. Here is a Homelessness letter that you can fill out and take to them. It has been designed by the homeless charity Shelter to make sure that the local authority responds in an appropriate way to your request for assistance. If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, the council must decide if they also have reason to believe that you may be eligible for assistance and have a priority need for accommodation.

If there is reason to believe that you meet these criteria, the council have an immediate duty to ensure that suitable accommodation is available until they complete their inquiries and decide whether a substantive duty is owed under Part 7. This is an important part of the safety net for people who have a priority need for accommodation and are unintentionally homeless.

Do I have a priority need?

The Housing Act ( Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) defines ‘priority need’ in England (and Wales)  to include:

  • a pregnant woman
  • dependent children
  • someone vulnerable as a result of old age, mental illness or handicap or physical disability or other special reason
  • someone homeless or threatened with homelessness as a result of an emergency such as flood, fire or other disaster

This was expanded further still in England by the 2002 Homelessness (Priority Need for Accommodation) (England) Order to include those:

  • aged 16 and 17 years old
  • aged under 21 years old who were in local authority care between the ages of 16 and 18
  • aged 21 and over who are vulnerable as a result of leaving local authority care
  • vulnerable as a result of leaving the armed forces
  • vulnerable as a result of leaving prison
  • vulnerable as a result of fleeing domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence

Housing authorities must ensure that suitable accommodation is available for people who have priority need, if they are eligible for assistance and unintentionally homeless (certain categories of persons from abroad are ineligible). This is known as the main homelessness duty. The housing authority can provide accommodation in their own stock or arrange for it to be provided by another landlord, for example, a housing association or a landlord in the private rented sector.

If settled accommodation is not immediately available, accommodation must be made available in the short term until the applicant can find a settled home. For more information on LGBT Domestic Abuse advice visit www.reducingtherisk.org.uk

 

Services, Organisations & Contacts

a2dominion Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services (ODAS) offer emotional and practical support to victims suffering or fleeing domestic abuse. Support can include:

  • Phone support.
  • Face to face meetings in a safe environment.
  • Safety planning.
  • Access to a confidential refuges where women (with or without children) can stay temporarily in order to escape an abusive relationship. Support is available for children in refuge accommodation.
  • Help to recognise abusive and non-abusive behaviours.
  • Support accessing other services for victims and their children.
  • Signposting to other agencies.

Helpline: 0800 731 0055
if you are a client or applicant of this service, please use the helpline number for priority assistance

 

Reducing the Risk

Reducing the Risk provides Oxfordshire’s IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) service, Domestic Abuse Champion Network and outreach in Cherwell. For training enquiries please see their website, access to all other services is via the a2dominion Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline.
www.reducingtherisk.org.uk
www.facebook.com/reducingtherisk
twitter.com/ReducingRiskDA

 

National Centre for Domestic Violence

Provides a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation.
www.ncdv.org.uk
NCVD Telephone Number: 0207 186 8270
office@ncdv.org.uk
www.facebook.com/nationalcentrefordomesticviolence/

 

Victim Support

Victim Support provides a third party reporting centre for LGBT victims of domestic abuse
www.victimsupport.org.uk
0808 168 9274
www.facebook.com/victimsupport
www.twitter.com/VictimSupport
www.youtube.com/user/VictimSupportCharity

 

Reporting Crimes and Incidents

You should call 999 in an emergency where;
– There is a risk of serious injury
– There is a risk of serious damage to property
– You suspect a crime is in progress
– It is a serious incident which needs immediate police attention
If it is a non-emergency
– call the police on 101
– call into any police station

 

Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers

LAGLOs are available specifically to help LGBT victims in Oxfordshire. Call 101 and request a “LAGLO”.
Emergency: 999
Non-Emergency: 101

 

Galop

Preventing and challenging homophobic and transphobic crime. Also hosts the LGBT domestic abuse support line
www.galop.org.uk

 

National 24 Domestic Violence Helpline

A national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
0808 2000 247

 

Shelter

A free, national telephone advice line staffed by trained housing advisers who can help.
0808 800 4444

 

Gender Trust National Helpline

For information on Transgender issues.
01527 894838

 

Respect

For people who are abusive to their partners and want to stop.
0808 802 4040

 

Karma Nirvana

Karma Nirvana is a UK registered charity that supports victims and survivors of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.
Karma Nirvana provide a dedicated helpline, they listen to you without judgement, and in confidence. This means they will not talk to anyone you do not wish them to talk to, such as family, friends or anyone else. Whatever your age, sexuality and circumstances, Karma Nirvana will listen and help. They also have survivors on hand should you wish to talk to someone who has first-hand experience of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse.
www.karmanirvana.org.uk
0800 5999247 (Open 9am – 9pm Weekdays & 10am – 4pm Weekends)
info@karmanirvana.org.uk
www.facebook.com/Karma-Nirvana

 

A Guide to UK-based Free Domestic Violence Helplines

Oliver Clark operates an addiction helpline, Rehab 4 Addiction, and has written a guide to make sense of the UK’s various free domestic violence helplines. Listing five different helplines, it explains the advantages of each because many helplines of this nature exist and people may be confused by their sheer number. This guide helps to demystify these helplines so people can select the most appropriate one for their needs. You can read this guide here:
rehab4addiction.co.uk/article/41/guide-to-free-domestic-violence-helplines