Hammersmith and Fulham Council are considering closing their only shelter for domestic violence victims who are gay and bisexual men. This will leave gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in the borough forced to travel considerable distance
This is terrible, homophobia and shows how low we stand in the Council’s priority list.
HOWEVER, what is more terrible is the fact that Hammersmith and Fulham have (had) even one shelter for gay and bi men means they are actually far far far more concerned about gay and bisexual men needing shelter than every other London council. This shelter is the only shelter for gay and bisexual male victims of domestic violence in London.
The only one in the entire capital. 13,000,000 people live in the greater London metropolitan area and there is (was) one shelter. And at that it is better served than much of the rest of the country (there’s certainly no such shelter near me).
Stonewall Housing also notes there is no commitment for government funds to any kind of LGBT housing or shelter across the UK – domestic violence only makes us more vulnerable to homelessness – and we’re already grossly over-represented in the homeless population. But, hey, the Salvation Army still gets funding so straight folks will be fine.
In addition, the LGBTQ domestic abuse charity Broken Rainbows is also facing closure after failing to gain government funding. There are not enough words in the world to describe how vital Broken rainbows is; when you are LGBTQ and face domestic abuse there are next to no services – and services that are there for domestic abuse victims are ignorant, prejudiced or incapable of helping us – or outright unable to understand that we exist (certainly not as more than an after thought).
Broken Rainbows is one of the very few sources of support out there, one of the very few organisations that knows about the paucity of services – and their reduction – and how utterly isolated and lacking in any options LGBTQ victims of domestic violence can be. They can perform small miracles against a backdrop of absolutely nothing.
It is essential that we do what we can to keep Broken Rainbows open. If you can, please help.
We cannot rely on straight government funding or straight charities, we know this. Nor can we rely on straight domestic violence charities to be remotely capable of helping us – let alone willing to do so. We need Broken Rainbows, we need this organisation to be a whole lot bigger than it is, not reduced still further. It’s one of the few lifelines we have – and it’s being cut.