Stonewall Scotland | Domestic abuse
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Domestic abuse

LGBT people's experiences of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse doesn't just happen to straight women - it affects gay men, lesbians, bisexual and trans people.


1 in 4 lesbian and bi women have experienced domestic abuse from a partner

80% of trans respondents stated that they had experienced emotionally, sexually or physically abusive behaviour by a partner or ex-partner

Lesbian and bi women are as likely as women in general to have experienced domestic abuse. Half of gay and bi men have experienced domestic abuse, and a third have experienced domestic abuse from a partner. This compares to one in six men in general who have experienced domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project and Scottish Transgender Alliance’s research, Out of sight, out of mind? is the first piece of research of its kind looking specifically at transgender people’s experiences of domestic abuse. The report found extremely high levels of domestic abuse experienced by respondents, much of which was targeted specifically at their transgender identities.

How to get help

Domestic abuse happens in many different ways, and it can be hard to realise what you're going through is actually abuse. If you are frightened or concerned about the way a partner, ex-partner or family member is treating you, there are organisations out there ready to help.

Broken Rainbow runs a national LGBT domestic abuse helpline which provides confidential support to all members of the LGBT community, their family, friends and agencies supporting them. You can call them on 0300 999 5428

The Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline provides a confidential, non-judgemental 24 hour telephone service throughout Scotland, available on 0800 027 1234.

LGBT Youth Scotland also runs a project on LGBT domestic abuse in Scotland, focused on helping service providers help people who are experiencing abuse. Their website also has links to many organisations which can help.

How to report domestic abuse

If the incident requires immediate attention please contact your local police office. In an emergency always call 999 (if the incident is ongoing or life is in danger).

If you have been the victim or witness of domestic abuse, or have concerns regarding a victim of domestic abuse there are several ways you can report this to the police.

  • At your local police office. If the incident is urgent, this is the best way to report it. If someone is in immediate danger always phone 999
  • In non-emergencies you can contact Police Scotland by phoning 101
  • At a remote reporting site.Trained staff from partner agencies can take your report and forward it to the police
  • Use Police Scotland's online domestic abuse form. If you are unable to go to your local police office or remote reporting site (or prefer to remain anonymous), you can submit the form directly to Police Scotland.
  • Print a copy of the form and post it to the Domestic Abuse Coordination Unit at the address below:

    Domestic Abuse Coordination Unit
    173 Pitt Street
    G2 4JS