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Commissioned by the Mayor’s Office and funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, a new partnership between The Outside Project and Star Support provides the UK’s first dedicated refuge for LGBTIQ+ survivors of domestic abuse. As well as the Star Support refuge service, the funding allows for the provision of community-based support at The Outside Project LGBTIQ+ community centre. 

Up until now, there has not been a permanent by-and-for refuge for LGBTIQ+ survivors. This is even though the experiences of LGBTIQ+ survivors have been well documented. Research has shown that more than half of all LGBTIQ+ respondents reported having experienced over twenty incidents of domestic abuse. The most common perpetrators of abuse against LGBTIQ+ survivors were parents: mothers (45%) and fathers (41%); 80% of trans people had experienced domestic abuse from a partner or ex-partner, and 25% of lesbian and bi women have experienced domestic abuse in a relationship.

Images supplied by The Outside Project

In a recent study, Galop found that LGBTIQ+ survivors often do not seek support from services or receive informal support from family and friends following domestic abuse. The Drive Partnership found the majority of LGBTIQ+ survivors reported that they ‘were more likely to feel comfortable accessing an LGBTIQ+ specialist domestic abuse service, and more likely to feel uncomfortable accessing a mainstream victim support service’ (Galop 2022). Despite the best intentions, mainstream services lack the knowledge, skills and experiences to cater to minoritised communities’ needs.

“LGBTIQ+ people need somewhere they can come and be safe in order to rebuild their lives. Living in this project enables me to open up, deal with trauma and past experience while moving forward and creating a safer future for myself.” – Star Support´s first resident. 

LGBTIQ+ people generally face high rates of homelessness. Stonewall has found that almost one in five LGBTIQ+ people have experienced homelessness at some point, compared with one in ten of the general population. 

With significant rates of domestic abuse and higher rates of homelessness, accommodation for LGBTIQ+ survivors of domestic abuse is needed now more than ever.

You can help to make a difference. 

They are currently raising money for their residents move-in costs as well as making the therapeutic space warm and welcoming.

https://www.starsupport.org.uk/

Please find the fundraising page here: https://www.peoplesfundraising.com/donation/star-support

 

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