For most people, romantic relationships are the most meaningful element in their lives. This is no different for the LGBT Plus community.

There are many aspects involved in being in a relationship and many things that can go wrong. Below you will find links to pages that offer advice and support around some of the big issues in LGBT Plus relationships.

Domestic abuse can include physical abuse, emotional and mental abuse and sexual abuse. It can involve a range of behaviours. Domestic abuse can be perpetrated by a partner or an ex-partner and can include:
  • Physical abuse (hitting, kicking, slapping, punching or any form of physical violence or threatened violence)
  • Sexual abuse (sexual acts which are carried out against a person’s will, forced to have sex/rape or to take part in any sexual act you don’t want to)
  • Mental and emotional abuse (such as threatening to ‘out’ you to family or friends, verbal abuse, homophobic/biphobic/transphobic abuse, keeping you short of money or isolating you from friends)
  • Children can also be affected by domestic abuse. Children can often witness or be subjected, or used in abuse. They can experience stress and fear and may suffer a range of adverse effects, including being hurt themselves, poor health and an array of psychological difficulties.
Domestic abuse involves a range of behaviours and you don’t need to experience all these forms of abuse to be experiencing domestic abuse – even if you feel you only experience one of these on a regular basis, this can still be domestic abuse.

If you are visiting this website it might be because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and are or think you may be experiencing domestic abuse. You may be a friend, relative or colleague of an LGBT Plus person and you are concerned about their relationship with their partner.

If you think you are experiencing domestic abuse, then you have made your first big step to getting help. The links from this page will give you lots of information from identifying domestic abuse to what to do in a crisis.

You are not alone. Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. You do not deserve to be abused and you can get help.


While the vast majority of domestic abuse is perpetuated by men against women, domestic violence is also experienced by men and within the LGBT community.

Power and control are at the heart of domestic abuse, and gender is one of the most powerful levers that abusers use. Although heterosexual and LGBT people may experience similar patterns of domestic abuse, there are however some specific issues that are unique to the experiences of LGBT people, which may include:

  • Threat of disclosure of sexual orientation and gender identity to family, friends, or work colleagues. 
  • Increased isolation because of factors like lack of family support or safety nets. 
  • Undermining someone’s sense of gender or sexual identity. 
  • Limiting or controlling access to spaces and networks relevant to coming out and coming to terms with gender and sexual identity. 
  • The victim may believe they ‘deserve’ the abuse because of internalised negative beliefs about themselves. 
  • The victim may believe that no help is available due to experienced or perceived homo/bi/ transphobia of support services and criminal justice system.

With specific reference to LGBT partner abuse:

  • Using society’s heterosexist myths about aggression and violence, abusive partners may manipulate and convince their partner that no one will believe the abuse is real.
  • Abusive partner may manipulate their partner into believing that abuse is a ‘normal’ part of same-sex relationships.
  • Abusive partner may threaten to call the police and claim that they are the victim. 
  • The abusive partner may pressure their partner to minimalise abuse to protect the image of the LGBT community. 
  • If the abused partner is living in the UK on a spousal visa, abuser might take advantage of their lack of awareness about immigration law, and threaten to deport them back to their country of origin, which might be unsafe due to e.g.: anti-gay legislation.

    With specific reference to trans persons

    • Withholding medication or preventing treatment needed to express victim’s gender identity (e.g. hormones, surgery). 
    • The abuser might refuse to use correct pronouns and prevent the abused from telling other people about their trans background or identity. 
    • The abuser might use derogatory names and ridiculing persons’ body image (body shaming). 
    • The abuser might convince or manipulate their partner that nobody would believe them because they are transgender. 

    You are not alone. Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. You do not deserve to be abused and you can get help.

    Wigtownshire Women’s Aid is an inclusive service and supports ALL women including women in same sex relationships and transgender women. 

    Telephone 01776 703104 24/7 on call support


    Visit our website

    Domestic Abuse Support Services
    Broken Rainbow a national helpline providing confidential support.

    Domestic Abuse Project LGBT Youth Scotland

    The National LGBT+ Domestic abuse helpline number is 0800 999 5428
    Email:, Website GALOP Project
    Open from 10.00 -17.00 Monday, Tuesdays and Fridays Wednesday and Thursdays 10.00-20.00

    Galop, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity. If you’ve experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, they’re there for you. They also support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.

    Non-LGBT-Plus Specific Organisations
    Women’s Aid – working to end domestic violence against women & children.
    Scotland: 0800 027 1234
    England: 0808 2000 247
    Wales: 0808 80 10 800
    Welsh Women’s Aid – This does not offer a helpline but provides referrals to local support groups - 029 2039 0874
    Advice and support Links
    Marriage & Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014

    Relationships Scotland

    Healthy Respect – Relationship advice for young people

    Losing a Partner – Grieving loss in the LGBT Community

    Suicide Bereavement Guide