For the first time, data for both sexual orientation and gender identity has been collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) census in England and Wales.
While the census shows that London and Brighton have the highest proportions of LGBT+ people in each city, regional data shows what we know from our 40 years of experience: that LGBT+ people exist across England and Wales. There are around 1.5 million (3.2%) LGB+ people and more than 260,000 (0.5%) Trans+ people across England and Wales according to the census.
We work with LGBT+ survivors of abuse and violence every day, and we see firsthand the high demand for specialist services needed by our community, right across the UK. Yet, our mapping study of domestic abuse services showed that LGBT+ services are disproportionally located in London, Brighton and other large cities. LGBT+ survivors living elsewhere often tell us there is nowhere and no one to turn to for support. They may also not know the services that are available for LGBT+ people virtually or in their area.
“More rural areas lack the support that are specialised enough for LGBT issues.” – quote from a LGBT+ respondent in a 2022 online survey of LGBT+ adults conducted by YouGov on behalf of Galop.
We know from our frontline work that LGBT+ survivors are facing even more difficulties in accessing existing services because of the cost of living crisis. Simply, the lack of specialist LGBT+ services, the unaffordable cost of housing and the unavailability of safe emergency accommodation are placing LGBT+ survivors at much more risk of abuse and harm.
The census data is a reminder of the importance of specialist services that are run by the LGBT+ community, for the LGBT+ community. Galop run three national helplines that are accessible across the UK and we are working hard to further grow our services to ensure that LGBT+ survivors can access specialised support when they need it, regardless of where they live.
Published: January 6th 2023