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Information for LGBTQ+ survivors

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Gender-Based Violence can happen to anyone regardless of their gender or sexuality. But research shows that lesbian, gay, bisexual, non-binary and trans people of all genders experience may experience higher rates of gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence can take many forms including domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking/harassment and forced marriage. LGBTQ+ survivors may have to deal with additional barriers to seeking support or engaging in a justice process issues such as prejudice, stereotyping and concerns about public revelation of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBTQ+ people can experience the same kinds of gender-based violence as all women e.g. domestic abuse, sexual violence and forced marriage. However, LGBTQ+ survivors might experience abuse in ways that are particular to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Research has shown that one in four trans people in a relationship have experienced domestic abuse from a partner.

For example, if a partner or ex-partner intentionally deadnames or uses the wrong pronouns towards a trans person. Or a non-binary person whose partner prevents them from going to the pharmacy to collect their prescription for hormones.

Non-binary people also can experience gender-based violence and we use this term with the acknowledgement that gender norms are harmful to everyone. Some non-binary people may have had a traditionally women-centred experience, been incorrectly stereotyped as a woman, or at some point may have lived their life as a woman.

LGBTQ+ survivors also may face individual barriers particular to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Such as the fear of negative reactions when trying to access support around their sexuality or gender identity or if they are not “out”, the fear of being “outed” to family members, work colleagues or the local community and having a negative reaction.

We aim to have a person-centred and needs-based approach to our services. If you have any questions or concerns around what support is there for you, please get in touch via our contact form.

Looking for a solicitor?

Our Solicitor Signposting Network has a list of solicitors across Scotland who have completed our SWRC-approved domestic abuse training .

Our partners at JustRight Scotland run the Scottish Just Law Centre, aiming to reduce discrimination and disadvantage in Scotland by helping people use equalities and human rights law as an effective tool for social change.

Looking for more information?

Rape Crisis Scotland have a resource for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence including:

LGBT Youth Scotland have information for survivors of domestic abuse.

Galop is a UK-wide charity and they have a wide variety of helpful resources for LGBTQ+ survivors on their website.


Other support and organisations that can help

The National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline (Galop)

The National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline (Galop) is the UK’s only national LGBTQ+ specific domestic abuse helpline. (Mon & Thu: 10am-8pm, Tues & Wed: 10am-5pm, Fri:1pm-5pm, 1pm-5pm Tuesday is a trans specific service.)

LGBT Helpline Scotland

The LGBT Helpline Scotland provides information and emotional support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, friends and supporters across Scotland. They are also there to support those questioning or wanting to discuss their sexuality or gender identity. (Tue & Wed: 12pm–9pm)

LGBT Youth Scotland

LGBT Youth Scotland support lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people in a range of ways.

Scottish Trans Alliance

The Scottish Trans Alliance works to improve gender identity and gender reassignment equality, rights and inclusion in Scotland.


In immediate danger or looking to report?

If you feel you are in immediate danger, call the Police on 999. If you are not in immediate danger but would like to report, call the Police on 101. Alternatively, you can fill out Police Scotland’s online form. Police Scotland respond and investigate reports of criminal activity, this includes various forms of gender-based violence.

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Our daytime helpline is currently available:

Our evening helpline, staffed by pro-bono solicitors who can provide initial advice, is currently available:

For up-to-date availability including any upcoming closures, please click here.

Please note our helplines will be unavailable between 20th December 2023 and 8th January 2024 while our Centre is closed for the holidays.