Victims of domestic abuse in same-sex relationships are being urged to seek help from the police and victim support organisations.

Research suggests that domestic abuse is as common, and as severe, in same-sex couples as among heterosexual couples.

Two women a week and 30 men a year die in England and Wales as a result of domestic abuse.

In the past, same-sex partner abuse has not always been recognised as a major issue, either by the LGBT community or by the police.

But Greater Manchester Police have put together an initiative to urge victims to seek help now.

The issue has been raised by the Greater Manchester Police’s Lesbian and Gay Staff Affiliation (LAGSA.)

Darrelle Lynch from GMP LAGSA said: “It is fair to say that victims of domestic abuse have been let down in the past, but times have changed and so have the police. GMP LAGSA is ensuring that this issue is raised at the highest levels within Greater Manchester Police.

“We know how frightening it is to come to the police – figures show it takes 35 attacks before a victim will come to us – but you will get the support you need.

“We have trained officers who know how to help you take the first step to consider all your options and look into the help available if you make the decision to leave.

“A common justification used by many abusers after an attack is ‘I’m sorry, I love you, it will never happen again’.

“This is not love and there is never any excuse for domestic abuse.”

Darrelle added that it is not just victims who can report domestic abuse.

“If a member of your family or a friend is a victim of domestic abuse, you can still tell police and we can now act on the information or evidence you give us.

“We will always do it sensitively – our chief concern is to help the man or woman in the abusive relationship.”

To contact your local domestic abuse unit in Manchester, call the GMP switchboard on 0161 872 5050. In an emergency where there is an immediate threat to life or property, always call 999.