“Through the Queer Lens” – Our Panel on 5 Dec, sponsored by LGBT+ at Sky – Stonewall Housing

“Through the Queer Lens” – Our Panel on 5 Dec, sponsored by LGBT+ at Sky

Our recent panel, held on 5 December 22, was a triumph. It brought together some of the leading voices in the LGBTQ+ homelessness and domestic abuse spheres in the UK. 

The panel topic was: “Through the Queer Lens”: What does Domestic Abuse look like in the LGBTQ+ community, and what more can be done to support survivors?

Sponsored by LGBT+ @Sky, hosted by Stonewall Housing, and held in Google’s Tottenham Court Road office, this panel explored issues including:

  • how Domestic Abuse can look different in LGBTQ+ communities compared to non-LGBTQ+ communities
  • why it’s so important that we raise awareness and increase visibility of domestic, family and intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ+ community
  • what more should be done to support LGBTQ+ people in the UK who are experiencing Domestic Abuse
  • why support around resettlement is so important when it comes to supporting Domestic Abuse survivors (including how services like Stonewall Housing’s DARS makes an impact)

Moderated by Stonewall Housing’s own Tina Wathern, our expert panellists included:

  • Anjum Mouj – Trainer and Consultant
  • Fatos Usta – Stonewall Housing Caseworker
  • Maari Nastari – CEO of STAR Support
  • Jasna Magić – Social Researcher

Together they identified key areas that need to be improved in policies surrounding protecting survivors of Domestic Abuse, as well as how to ensure approaches are intersectional and reflective of the experiences of different communities.

“There are a lot of heteronormative ideas around what Domestic Abuse looks like, and so often all of the discussions are very gendered. This can be so problematic when supporting LGBTQ+ people”.

Maari Nastari, CEO of STAR Support

It’s an unfortunate truth that many mainstream Domestic Abuse organisations don’t understand the needs and experiences of LGBTQ+ people. When discussing what the LGBTQ+ lens is when working with Domestic Abuse survivors, and why a holistic approach is so critical particularly when working with vulnerable people, Fatos Usta shared:

“Our [Stonewall Housing] service users are more confident because it’s a by and for service… we’re working with a holistic approach so users feel empowered. It’s so important that we help them to build resilience.”

Fatos Usta, Caseworker at Stonewall Housing

Jasna Magić reflected on the often-discussed difference between people being ‘hard to reach’, when in reality it’s often the services themselves which aren’t accessible enough. When discussing what changes need to happen in order for more LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse survivors to get the support they need, Jasna shared:

“The onus should be on the system, not the survivors.”

Jasna Magić – Social Researcher 

After the panel we held an engaging Q&A session – and really dug deeper into what actions organisations can take to demonstrate their support for LGBTQ+ people.

“Remember – if your team doesn’t understand the complexities around Domestic Abuse in LGBTQ+ communities then they won’t be offering the best service to people. There are so many ways to get your staff trained up” – Tina Wathern. For more information on the training we offer at Stonewall Housing, visit this link.

We really look forward to putting together more future panels and events like these in order to effect positive and meaningful change for LGBTQ+ people across the UK.

“The data is really alarming when you look at Domestic Violence rates in this county […] Really, the personal has never been so political. With a system like ours, which is broken in so many ways, its inconsistency is all that’s consistent.”

Anjum Mouj, Trainer and Consultant

To find out more about supporting our work please email supporters@stonewallhousing.org

To learn more about DARS, our Domestic Abuse Resettlement Service, please visit our info page.

We want to thank our excellent panel, the wonderful team at LGBT+ at Sky for their generosity and kindness in sponsoring the event, and our hosts Google who provided the space.