Hey, I really don't know what to do. I've been with my girlfriend for just over a year now and things were great at first but recently she's started to get really mad all the time. Sometimes when we're fighting she starts shouting and hits me. It's not that hard, like, she doesn't punch me, but she's totally up in my face and slaps me around. It scares the living shit out of me and I don't know what to do. I've tried breaking up with her once but she went into a rage and then started threatening to kill herself. I feel so trapped. What do I do?
Thanks for your post. I'm Justin, a member of the OutLife support team.
It sounds like you're having a really rough time of it and it must have been really hard to write that post. Well done on reaching out. Emotional and physical abuse can take an awful tole on us and can sometimes seem impossible to escape, especially when it's your partner who's scaring you. I've never been through it myself, but I've known people who've experienced it for a long time and have seen how hard they found it.
First thing's first: you're not alone in this, there are loads of places where you can find support, and your circumstances can change. Domestic violence in the LGBTQ+ community is far from uncommon, and there are specialist organisations that can help with everything from a sympathetic ear, to counselling, to practical solutions that will keep you safe in the short / medium term.
Below I'm going to provide some links and information that I think you'll find useful.
- Your first port of call should probably be GALOP, a specialist anti-violence charity for LGBTQ+ people that provides domestic abuse support. It runs a domestic abuse hotline on 0800 999 5428 which runs 10am - 5pm most days. Maybe talking to them could help? www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/
- GALOP is also a member of the Domestic Abuse Partnership, a group of LGBTQ+ organisations that provide support queer people who experience domestic violence and abuse. They provide services including the following: lgbtdap.org.uk/
Advice and safety planning Housing advice, including options on finding safe accommodation Emotional support Free one-to-one Counselling Support and assistance with dealing with the police Help reporting incidents Legal advice on civil or criminal protection (e.g., non-molestation orders) Support through civil and criminal court system Help finding solicitors Advice on child safety and child contact issues Specific support around sexual abuse Translation service available to those who do not have English as a first language
- Most of these charities are physically based in London, so will probably only be able to offer limited support outside of the capital. If you're further North, the LGBT Foundation based in Manchester might be in a better position to offer support. It runs a phone line on 0345 3 30 30 30 which offers advice and support, and the Foundation itself offers 1:1 sessions with a someone who can help you: lgbt.foundation/
- If at any point you feel like your safety is in jeopardy or life is in danger, then it's probably best to call 999, as none of the above services will be able to respond as quickly as the police to an immediate threat.
I hope you find some of the above helpful. Please stay in touch and repost as much as you want, and we'll try to help.