LGBT domestic violence charity Broken Rainbow facing closure
The charity says it will be forced to close if the government does not renew funding.
The UK’s only national domestic violence charity for the LGBT community is facing closure due to a lack of funding.
Broken Rainbow – based in Manchester – says it has seven weeks to secure renewed funding from the Home Office before it would have to cease operation.
Jo Harvey Barringer, the charity’s managing director, said the organisation – which has helped 42,000 people since it was set up 11 years ago – “literally saves lives”.
“LGBT charities are at the forefront of service cuts affecting the community’s most vulnerable people,” she said. “This needs to stop.”
Although some regional charities offer help to LGBT victims of domestic violence, Broken Rainbow – which was among the nominees of last year’s PinkNews Awards – is the service that does so nationally.
Barringer added that help for LGBT domestic violence victims is still lagging behind the women’s movement.
“If you think about the LGBT equality battle, we’ve only just got the right to get married, so we’re not going to start talking about the not so pleasant aspects of our relationships,” she said.
“[LGBT people] don’t necessarily recognise that what’s going on in our relationships is domestic violence.
“So in regards to awareness, if you’re thinking of the women’s movement, we’re probably in the late 70s, early 80s.
“When you look at domestic violence as a subject in this country, two women a week die at the hands of their male partners,” she continued.
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“LGBT people die at the hands of their partners too, but when it’s reported in the press it’s much more sensationalised, or it’s not even recognised as domestic violence.”
Broken Rainbow’s figures suggest that one in four LGBT people will experience domestic violence from a partner or family member in their lifetime.
That figure that rises to four in five trans people. Of all the people helped by the charity, 51% are male.
However, there are currently only 35 refuge beds for male victims of domestic violence in the UK.
A four-year round of funding from the Home Office was renewed for just one year in March 2015, meaning it can only run its core services until the end of this financial year.