Barriers must be broken down

Responding to research released today: 'Barriers faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in accessing domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, and sexual violence services', the Welsh Liberal Democrats Equalities spokesperson, Peter Black has welcomed the recommendations but has expressed concern at the findings.

The research found that LGBT victims of violence and abuse face specific barriers when accessing services. As well as the "individual barriers" people may face, due to the service providers knowledge and perceptions of LGBT people, there are "structural and cultural barriers" as existing services have been designed to meet the needs of heterosexual women.

Commenting, Mr. Black said:

"It is saddening that anyone experiences the terrible pain and suffering caused by domestic abuse, stalking and harassment, and sexual violence. It is even more disappointing when certain groups of people, who have already suffered so much, are unable to access the services they need.

"I look forward to the Welsh Government launching the Domestic Abuse, Gender-based Violence and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill this month, which will work to prevent this abuse and violence from occurring and provide protection and support to victims. I will seek to ensure that the recommendations from this report are carried through the Bill and resulting strategies."

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