UK

One in three LGBT+ Brits abused by their family, disturbing report finds

Emily Chudy April 1, 2022
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Galop study finds one in three LGBT+ Brits have been abused by relatives

Galop study finds one in three LGBT+ Brits have been abused by relatives (Edward Smith/ Getty Images)

One in three LGBT+ people in Britain have been abused by their relatives, a study by Galop has found.

The LGBT+ anti-abuse charity found that of the 5,000 people surveyed, nearly one third (29 per cent) had experienced abuse by a relative, most often their own parents.

Galop reported that the abuse ranged from verbal harassment to threats of homelessness and physical violence.

Five per cent of respondents had been subjected to conversion therapy “through a family member attempting to change, ‘cure’ or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity”.

Sixty per cent of respondents who had experienced abuse from their family felt their LGBT+ identity was either the main reason or part of the reason.

The survey also found that a “significant number of victims” who experienced abuse from their families think support would have been helpful, but were not able to access it, or did not access it.

Leni Morris, CEO of Galop, said: “Our findings reveal that a sizeable number of respondents were younger than 11 years old when the abuse began, with this maltreatment most commonly coming from parents.

“We believe these findings evidence the need explore the institutional barriers keeping these victims unseen by support services, emphasise the need for specialist LGBT+ advocacy, therapeutic services, and advice to be available to victims of familial abuse across the country, and for a prompt, complete ban of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ with no loopholes.”

Morris said: “When someone suffers abuse which targets them for who they fundamentally are, especially at such a formative age and at the hands of such an influential person, the repercussions are often lifelong.

“This report echoes the severity and complexity of cases we are supporting at Galop, often within which victims have never told anyone about their experience.”

The report comes amid a series of U-turns by the prime minister on a conversion therapy ban.

Boris Johnson received fierce backlash after ITV news reported a leaked document that indicated he would ditch his plan to ban conversion therapy.

Downing Street then announced that the practice would be banned after all, but not for trans people.

The government’s own National LGBT survey, published in 2018, found that trans people were almost twice as likely to have experienced conversion therapy than cis people. Thirteen per cent of respondents had undergone or been offered it, compared to seven per cent of cis people.

Conservative MP Alicia Kearns had told ITV that “people will lose lives” if a ban is not put in place.

“As a politician, I stood for election to ban conversion therapy because it is harming people up and down this country, it is people profiteering from telling people there is something wrong with them, that they are broken, they have some kind of pathogen. It is wrong,” she said.

“As MPs we have a duty to provide be a voice for those that others seek to silence and to save lives. This legislation does just that.

“If we do not bring in this legislation people will lose lives.”

 

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