Save your Services

London Councils are currently looking into whether the grants programme should could continue past 2017 and if so what it's priorities are. We are calling on our communities to help save our service

Thanks to London Councils funding Stonewall Housing has worked in partnership with a range of other LGBT organisations working with thousands of LGBT people across London to help them live happier, healthier and safer lives.

Our current partners under London Councils include:

Stonewall Housing


Albert Kennedy Trust


Broken Rainbow 

LGBT Switchboard 

London Councils is a key, important funder of services for LGBT Londoners. Without funding from London Councils, these vital and life-saving services for LGBT Londoners will not continue.

London Councils are currently deciding whether to continue their grants programme past 2017, and if so where cuts could be made.

Please can you respond to the consultation and help us to fight for the continuation of your LGBT services

services. It will take about 30 minutes to register and complete.
Closing date is next Friday 02.10.15.

Ways to help:

1. complete this 3 min survey  Deadline is Friday 2nd October at 10.AM

2.If you have time complete the full survery see below, this option will take about 30 mins. 

Your support will help secure future funding for LGBT people who have been through a dreadful experience..

Thank you for your support in protecting London’s LGBT services. 

We have created template with the answer that can be cut and pasted into the online survey. Feel free to adapt this to something that suits you.



LINK Visit London Councils site to complete


Please join us in campaigning to save our services. 

Posted on 28 September 2015 by Bob Green

Category youth LGBT housing supported housing services research older LGBT housing LGBT domestic violence advice

Ask your MPs to sign EDM 653

Following the Safe as Houses conference last year, a cross-party group of MPs, alongside Stonewall Housing, has tabled an Early Day Motion highlighting the issue of domestic abuse in the LGBT community.

In the run-up to the General Election, we think it’s vital that everything be done to raise the profile of this issue so we’d like to encourage everyone to send the draft letter below to their local MPs, asking that they show their support by signing EDM 653. You can also download from  There is also a link to find your local MP's contact details via your postcode.  Or if you already know your MP’s contact details, here is text that you can use to try to persuade them, together with a list of those MP’s who have already signed.    



Re: LGBT* Domestic Abuse – Please Sign EDM #653.

Dear [Insert MP’s Name Here]

I am writing to you to express concern about the issue of domestic abuse experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans* (LGBT) people, and to ask that you show you share my concerns by signing EDM 653.[1]

I am sure you will know that domestic abuse is a major blight on the lives of heterosexual women. Though much more can and should be done, various public bodies and the press rightly accord priority to highlighting and addressing this issue. Local, regional and national government and the police service invest in public campaigns and other initiatives to reach out to women survivors. Government has just recently announced ring-fenced of £10million funding to Local Authorities to provide women’s refuges – an essential lifeline for so many survivors.

However, I do not feel that enough is being done to address the drastically under-reported problem of domestic abuse in the LGBT* communities. There is now a wealth of evidence that reveals that domestic abuse is at least as high, if not higher, amongst sub-groups of this community. Notably:

·                               A Stonewall survey of lesbian and bisexual women in 2008[2] revealed that one in four – the same proportion as heterosexual non-trans women – experienced domestic violence.

·                                 Another 2011 Stonewall survey[3] of gay and bisexual men found that half of them had experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16.

·                                 A 2010 survey by the Scottish Trans Alliance[4] found that domestic abuse was a concern for the majority of those surveyed.

·                                 In 2014, the Roar survey[5] of the experiences of LGBT domestic abuse survivors found that 70% of LGBT survivors did not report the abuse they experienced to any agency or organisation.

This abuse is committed against LGBT people by ex/partners and family members of all genders and sexualities.  Abuse, particularly against the younger LGBT survivors, is frequently from family members who are intolerant of their sexual or gender identity.

LGBT people have specific needs which, sadly, are not sufficiently addressed. For instance:

·                                 There is no specialist housing provision for LGBT survivors of a similar nature to refuge provision. Generic hostels are frequently unsafe for LGBT clients, with many survivors forced to return home or sleep rough.

·                                 Refuge services to lesbian and bisexual women are available, but provision is patchy and is dependent on staff having received training to be able to understand risks and needs of survivors. Many services do not receive funding to provide training on this issue.

·                                 Trans-spectrum people face discrimination and exclusion when trying to access all gender-based housing services and safe accommodation.

·                                 Gay and Bisexual men are not able to access refuges for women, and men’s hostels do not understand risks and needs of non-heterosexual men.

·                                 To make matters worse, there is widespread under-reporting of domestic abuse to the police amongst LGBT people, and a high proportion of those who do report it are not satisfied with the police response.[6]

The Government has not committed funding to provide any LGBT refuge provision in any part of the UK – as they have done with respect to women’s refuges – leaving LGBT survivors at risk of further abuse. LGBT people fall through the gaps, leading to an increase in anti-social behaviour, homelessness, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and a decline of physical and mental wellbeing.

However, a cross-party group of MPs – including Sarah Champion MP (Lab), Caroline Lucas MP (Grn) and Stephen Gilbert MP (LD) – have tabled Early Day Motion (no: 653) to help highlight this problem. It asks that the Government commit ring-fenced funding for LGBT refuges and improve guidance to housing authorities to highlight LGBT-specific needs. I am writing to ask that you, as my local MP, do the following:

·                                 Please sign Early Day Motion No: 653.

·                                 Please write to the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles MP highlighting my concerns, and in particular the need for ring-fenced funding to councils to provide LGBT refuges.

Yours Sincerely,



[1] Early Day Motion 653, Domestic Abuse in the LGBT Community.

[2] Stonewall (2008), Prescription for Change: Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Health Check.

[3] Stonewall (2011), Gay and Bisexual Men’s Health Survey.

[4] Scottish Trans Alliance (2010), Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

[5] Stonewall Housing, Trust for London and LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum (2014), Roar: Because silence is deadly – a report on the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

[6] Stonewall, Domestic Abuse: Stonewall Health Briefing.


Posted on 8 January 2015 by Maria Sookias

Category LGBT domestic violence

New service for survivors of domestic abuse

We have launched a new service for LGBT people who have recently experienced domestic abuse.

The service focuses on rebuilding lives through tenancy sustainment. It includes joint working with local authority MARAC & VAWG panels where our platform allows us to champion LGBT inclusiveness to improve generic service provision.

Find out more about this service.

Posted on 5 June 2014 by

Category LGBT domestic violence

Planet London Awards #SH30/28

We are pleased to announce that we won two awards at the Planet London 2013 Awards.


Here we are accepting the award for Youth Group of the Year!


And here's Maria Sookias accepting the award for Local Network/Forum of the Year for the LGBT Domestic Abuse Forum.

The awards ceremony was broadcast live online and members of the team attended the ceremony at the Candy Bar.

You can see more on the Planet London web site.

This is number 28 in a series of 30: Stonewall Housing at 30.

Posted on 12 December 2013 by Hamish McDonald

Category LGBT domestic violence

ROAR: what you said #SH30/18

Nearly half of those who were LGBT survivors of domestic abuse experienced more than 20 incidents before they sought help.

This was just one of the findings of the survey we conducted with LGBT survivors of domestic abuse. We wanted to find out what the lived experience of domestic abuse is like, and whether survivor had tried to find help. Nearly 70% said that they hadn't sought out advice or support from organisations.If they turned to anyone for help, it was most likely to be a friend or a family member. 

The report was discussed at the ROAR conference held in London on 20 September. "It was a timely conference, and report," Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and one of the keynote speakers at the conference, said afterwards. "It was a great honour to join you today."

"We are grateful to all the people who attended the conference," said Maria Sookias, Co-ordinator of the LGBT domestic abuse forum, and Development Manager at Stonewall Housing. "We will review all the discussions and produce a final report including recommendations for organisations providing services for LGBT survivors of domestic abuse. Survivors need to feel confident that they will be treated with respect and dignity, and from their feedback, this does not appear to be the case at the moment."

For further information about the report, please contact Maria.

Or download a copy of the summary PDF 

 This is number 18 in a series of 30: Stonewall Housing at 30.

Posted on 23 September 2013 by Maria Sookias

Category LGBT domestic violence

Sign the e-petition: #SH30/13

We think the Government should provide emergency / refuge accommodation for trans* survivors of domestic abuse and/or hate crime: do you?


Sign the petition here.


This is number 13 in a series of 30: Stonewall Housing at 30.

Posted on 12 July 2013 by Maria Sookias

Category LGBT domestic violence

ROAR: because silence is deadly: #SH30/3

Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT*) people experience domestic abuse from partners, ex-partners, intimate contacts or extended family members.

We want to learn from LGBT survivors about that experience, when asking for help, support, advice or accommodation. 

We want to find out if the law has been put into practice.  Do some LGBT people continue to face additional hurdles when seeking help? What are those barriers? What are the consequences of delay? We are diverse and different in many ways, but the one thing we all deserve is equality, dignity and respect when we are most vulnerable.

If you are a survivor of domestic abuse we want to hear your voice. 

If you do one thing today, Roar: because silence is deadly.    

Answer the survey:


Download more information here.


This is number 3 in a series of 30: Stonewall Housing at 30.

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Maria Sookias

Category LGBT domestic violence

Defining safe spaces

On 22 September, the LGBT domestic abuse forum will host the first ever conference on improving services for trans survivors of domestic abuse.

The conference, which is being run in partnership with Galop, Gendered Intelligence, Gender Matters and Broken Rainbow UK, aims to answer the question: what does a perfect service look like? 

The conference will feature speakers from across the UK, including Dr Catherine Donovan, Reader in Sociology at the University of Sunderland, who is recognised as the leading expert in domestic violence in LGBT communities. There will also be three workshops that will identify best practice in service provision, create an action plan to engage with trans communities about domestic abuse and develop ideas around safe spaces for trans survivors of domestic violence. 

Prior to the debate, the forum is conducting some online research, asking respondents to define what a safe service would look like to them. Your views would be welcome. 

The LGBT domestic abuse forum is hosted by Stonewall Housing and works with its members for better services to LGBT victims and survivors of domestic abuse. 

For further information about how you can attend the conference, please contact Maria Sookias at Stonewall Housing.

Posted on 14 September 2012 by Maria Sookias

Category LGBT domestic violence

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