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Greater Manchester has become the first metropolis in the U.K. to record domestic violence in the LGBTQ community. The Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have worked with independent organizations including the women’s domestic abuse group Independent Choices and LGBT Foundation to create a specific police code, D66, that has been used since June 2016 to record incidents of LGBTQ domestic violence.
According to the news media outlet wishfm.net, more than 150 LGBTQ domestic violence incidents have been recorded by the police since the launch of this initiative. Chief Inspector Myra Ball says the action has a real impact: “This is a huge step forward in tackling domestic abuse specifically within the LGBT community here in Greater Manchester, and shows our commitment to supporting all victims of domestic abuse in the best way possible, for them.”
In preparation for this new action, the Manchester police launched a campaign during the city’s 2015 Pride event called, “There’s no pride in domestic abuse” to raise awareness about domestic abuse among the LGBTQ community.
“Congratulations to GMP in leading the way on highlighting and identifying domestic abuse incidents in the LGBT communities,” said Joanne Simpson, Director of Independent Choices. “This will go a long way in breaking down barriers that prevent people coming forward to receiving help.”
In order to more effectively fight domestic violence and support the victims, the partnership funded a specialist LGBT Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) at Independent Choices. Simpson points out that through this partnership, people from the community who have never called on the association can now come for help.
No other police force in the United Kingdom had taken this kind of initiative before. The GMP hopes that its introduction will add to the current work of Greater Manchester to capture trends and ultimately address the issue and support the victims in the most effective way possible.
A 2013 update of the CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reported that 26% of gay men, 37.3% of bi men, 43.8% of lesbians and 61.1% of bi women have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner at some time in their lives.
(Featured image by wcjohnston via iStock)