LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop is today launching a National Conversion Therapy Helpline to support victims and survivors of so-called “conversion therapy”.
“Conversion therapy” refers to any practice which tries to change, alter, suppress, or “cure” an LGBT+ person’s orientation or gender identity. This kind of abuse can take a wide range of forms, including verbal, psychological, physical, and sexual abuse. According to the Government Equalities Office’s 2018 National LGBT Survey, 5% of LGBT+ people have been offered or threatened with these practices, and 2% have been put through them.
In May of this year, the Government outlined its plans to ban conversion therapy. Before legislation begins, the Government is today launching a public consultation on the ban itself. The ban is very much welcomed by the LGBT+ community, but there are concerns that the consultation and the debate around the legislation may prove traumatising for victims and survivors of these so-called “conversion therapies”.
Galop works regularly with LGBT+ victims of so-called “conversion therapy”, alongside running national helplines and other services for LGBT+ victims of abuse and violence. All its services are run by members of the LGBT+ community, providing a safe space for victims to come forward and seek help.
Leni Morris, CEO of LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop, said: “Being LGBT+ is not a disease, and therefore there is no cure.
“What so-called “conversion therapies” do achieve is serious psychologic and emotional, and sometimes physical, trauma to the victims and, for many victims, the repercussions are life-long.
“The conversion therapy ban is a step forward for our community, but we know that the spotlight it gives to these practices may cause pain and trauma to those who are experiencing these abuses right now, or have been through them in the past.
“We’re launching our National Conversion Therapy Helpline to support the community and ensure that there is a safety net for victims as this national conversation continues.”
Galop’s National Conversion Therapy Helpline will be available Monday-Friday 10:00am – 4:00pm by phone (0800 130 3335), and via email CThelp@galop.org.uk.
For those wanting to support the helpline, there is a Crowdfunder open for donations to help support the costs of the service, as it is being set up with no dedicated funding.