Trigger warning: explicit mentions of violence and abuse
Abuse is not just an issue in heterosexual relationships, it exists in every community.
The complex and unique experience of many LGBTQ+ people can present additional challenges when accessing support. Survivors of violence or abuse may be hesitant to reach out due fear of judgement, or based on the misconception that support is not available for them.
With Live Fear Free, support is always there if you need it. The helpline is open to everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Connor and his boyfriend had been together for three years. The abuse started with name calling but escalated dramatically into physical abuse. His partner would often burn Connor’s possessions in front of him, and on two occasions he strangled Connor. Connor was constantly afraid of what his partner might do next.
On one occasion, upon returning home from a holiday together, his partner begun smashing up the house and chasing Connor with a baseball bat. Connor called the police, and his partner was removed from the property and charged.
In the following months Connor remembers not feeling at all himself, even after his partner had been removed. The abuse had taken its toll. When Connor called the Live Fear Free helpline for support, he still felt fearful.
Live Fear Free told him it was okay to be upset, that no one ever deserves to be treated that way. They validated him and let him know there is always support available.
Together they discussed programmes that could help build his confidence back up like the Dyn Project and Men’s advice lines.
Sarah used the Live Fear Free live chat service because she was concerned her elderly mum was being abused by her ex-girlfriend.
Her mum had ended a relationship two years ago, but her ex-girlfriend had refused to leave.
Sarah had noticed her mum was becoming frail, withdrawn, and isolated from family and friends. She had lived at her property for forty years with no problems but had suddenly started having issues paying rent and electricity bills.
Her ex-girlfriend had cut off most of the people in Sarah’s mums’ life, controlling who she saw and checking her phone. Sarah worried that if she went to the police her mum might withdraw from her too.
Live Fear Free offered Sarah emotional support, letting her know that it is difficult seeing someone you love experience abuse. They discussed her options including police, social services, and local domestic abuse services.
They considered ways Sarah could be there to offer her mum support when she needed it – sometimes just being there is enough.
Abuse can happen in any relationship.
Like Connor* and Sarah’s mum*, everyone deserves to live their authentic life free of abuse or violence.
Speak to Live Fear Free for 24/7 free confidential support and advice.
Call 0808 80 10 800
Text 0786 007 7333
Email [email protected]
*Names and key details have been changed to protect both callers’ identity.