LGBT+ people experiencing abuse and violence are at greater risk during the cost-of-living crisis.
In our daily work with survivors, 100% of Galop’s frontline staff reported that unaffordable housing costs and limited specialist LGBT+ safe places are putting LGBT+ victims of abuse at more risk of abuse and harm.
LGBT+ people face additional barriers when accessing general emergency accommodation because of the risk of anti-LGBT+ abuse. The significant rise in waiting lists for LGBT+ inclusive accommodation means LGBT+ survivors are being forced to choose between potentially dangerous accommodation, homelessness, or staying with their abusers.
88% of frontline staff surveyed are extremely or very concerned about to access support and/or safety for victims and survivors because of the cost-of-living crisis.
One frontline worker explained: “Survivors are returning to perpetrators because they are unable to support themselves financially.”
Soaring costs in the UK mean LGBT+ survivors are in greater need of financial support for everyday essentials, with Galop reporting a record-breaking 227% increase in the use of their emergency fund to help support survivors with resources such as food and transport and clothing, compared to the same two-month period last year.
One frontline worker reported: “When asked what she can do for self-care that day, after going through a traumatic court hearing, the client replied that she’s ‘going to put the heating on for an hour’.”
Amy Roch, Galop’s Deputy CEO, says:
“We see the hidden realities of the cost-of-living crisis every day in our work with LGBT+ survivors. Our clients are having to weigh up every essential cost; from a bus ticket to travel to a sexual assault center to the cost of a night in a hostel.
On top of the burden of finances, our community will always have the fear of anti-LGBT+ prejudice when seeking support and safety. This means, more than ever, LGBT+ survivors are being faced with the choice between potentially unsafe emergency accommodation or homelessness. Trans and non-binary survivors face even more barriers to accessing safe services – especially mainstream services which often operate within the gender binary and, in many cases, explicitly exclude trans people from access.
These findings highlight the pressing need for increased specialist LGBT+ advocacy, therapeutic services and refuge across the whole of the UK. We cannot let this crisis remain hidden. For LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse, the cost of just surviving is enough.”
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Cost of Living research 2022
Read our research into how the Cost of Living Crisis is affecting LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse and violence