Gwent police to offer extra help for LGBT victims of domestic violence
Victims of same-sex domestic abuse are to be offered extra support by police in Wales.
The LGBT liaison officers of Gwent police force have been given extra training in order to better understand the issue and provide extra support through the criminal justice system.
As reported in the Caerphilly Observer, in 2011/12 there were just ten incidents of same-sex domestic abuse reported to the police. The force have suggested this means people are afraid to report it.
Gwent police speculated that it may be due to a fear of being potentially outed – and a fear of the report not being taken seriously.
Gwent Police Chief Constable Carmel Napier, said: “Gwent Police offers extensive support to victims of domestic abuse, but the LGBT officer service is tailored to recognise the particular needs and concerns faced by someone in a same-sex relationship.
“This service means that victims of same-sex domestic abuse are offered additional support from the moment they report a crime. Of course, as with anyone in an intimate relationship and they have concerns about a partner, those in same-sex relationships can also apply for disclosure under Clare’s Law.
“If the LGBT officer service gives victims of same-sex domestic abuse the confidence to report an incident and follow it through the investigation and court process then that’s a huge positive step in tackling and combating these awful crimes that often remain silent.”
Gwent Police LGBT liaison officers have existed since December 2010 to provide support and guidance to victims of LGBT hate crime.
This new service will be offered alongside the latter.