Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

Our Domestic Abuse service is for LGBTQ people affected by domestic abuse. We provide support to survivors through our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) who are here to support you. 

We can help you with housing and accessing refuge services, financial issues and benefits, navigating the criminal justice system, and assisting with mental and physical health needs.  

We’re here to listen, whether the abuse is recent, historical, or you’re worried about your relationship with your partner or family. We’re committed to being a non-judgemental point of call for you, a family member, or someone else you’re worried about. 

Refer Yourself

Professional Referral

You can download an easy-read version of this information here. We also have versions of this information translated into Urdu, Spanish, Arabic, Polish & Simplified Chinese

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What is Domestic Abuse?How can we help? How we work

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of violent, threatening, coercive or controlling behaviours from a family member, partner(s) or ex-partner(s). Domestic abuse can affect people of any gender, race, sexuality, age, ethnicity or socio-economic background. Please know, you are not alone.

The LGBTQ community is particularly at risk of domestic abuse, and has historically struggled to access specialist, accessible and inclusive IDVA services. This is why we’ve launched a Domestic Abuse service created by the community, for the community.  

Speaking up about abuse can be really difficult, which is why we aim to provide a safe, affirming and supportive service which is here when you need it most.

If you want to learn more about domestic abuse and violence, you can do so here: Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse | Helping Survivors of Sexual Assault and Abuse

This video in BSL by Deaf Rainbow UK and SignHealth explains domestic abuse in LGBTQIA+ relationships, and the power and control wheel.

How can we help? 

1:1 IDVA Services

When you’re experiencing domestic abuse and navigating the aftermath, things can feel really confusing, stressful and overwhelming. Our Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) are here to help by creating a personalised support plan to get your life back on track. We can help you with housing and accessing refuge services, sorting out financial issues and any benefits you’re entitled to, navigating the criminal justice system, and assist with mental and physical health needs. We can also refer you to get more ongoing therapeutic support, once you’re ready and in a position to do so.

If you’ve experienced forced marriage, Honour-Based Violence or FGM, we can provide you with support and help you understand what to do next. We’re also here to get the right support for your children, and advocate for and alongside you to other organisations to make sure you’re safe and supported. We can attend appointments with you and meet with you in the community to talk through what you’re experiencing.  


Once a month we host an LGBTQ+ Survivor Space at The Queery in central Brighton. Each month there is a different theme that we explore as a group usually through creative activity and discussion. These groups are free to attend peer-support spaces that are co-produced with attendees, they are not designed to be therapeutic spaces, but an IDVA from Switchboard will be at each session to facilitate, manage conversations and be there for support if anyone requires it. You can find out about our upcoming sessions on Eventbrite or by emailing [email protected].

Personal Safety Planning

By working in partnership with you, your IDVA will create a personal safety plan which is tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. A safety plan will help you know how to protect yourself from further abuse and minimise harm, by looking at all the potential risks and what you should do if things reach a crisis point. This could look like keeping a bag with copies of identification and paperwork in case you need to flee or knowing where you can go if you need to leave your home.  

Resource Guide 

We’ve created a resource guide here full of practical resources you can use if you need help with anything to do with domestic abuse, including therapy, financial resources, easy read guides and therapy routes. If there’s anything you can’t see on the database, or you’re from an organisation that wants to join the resource guide, let us know and we can add you.

Financial support & crisis fund

We have access to care packages with toiletries, period products, SIM cards, food vouchers and self-care items if you’re in financial difficulty. We can also pay for essentials if you’re in an emergency and have funding to subsidise therapy or other costs related to domestic abuse. Switchboard believes that poverty is an LGBTQ+ issue, and are committed to supporting survivors in any way they need.

We have partnered with Ana Bott (she/they) from The Real Massage to provide a regular, monthly massage slot for our service users. Ana is an advanced clinical massage therapist and an LGBTQ+ specialist in their field. In Ana’s own words: ”At the root of all my work is the belief that kind, compassionate and safe touch can help heal the physical and emotional pains of our community.”
To book a massage slot, just get in touch with your IDVA and they’ll help you get booked in. This is free of charge for people who use our service. 

How we work

We operate in a trauma-informed, community-based and person-centred way, which means that our services are tailored to each person’s individual needs and identities. This also means we have an intersectional understanding of LGBTQ* people, and continue to work on providing a holistic service which works for you. We work in a way which is mindful of how race, disability, faith, immigration status, ethnicity and age intersects with LGBTQ* identity, and that people hold a multitude of marginalised identities.

If you need BSL interpretation services, or if English is not your first language and you need a translator, we can provide that. Our aim is to offer a service which respects the autonomy and humanity of each of our clients, which means being committed to active learning and meeting you where you’re at in a culturally appropriate way.  

Statement of TNBI (trans, non-binary and intersex) solidarity and inclusion

This service was created to be a point of support, empowerment and advocacy for everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community who has experienced, or is experiencing, domestic violence. We at Switchboard recognise the historic lack of services and inclusion for trans, non-binary and intersex people, who have struggled to access refuge spaces and to get help and support from domestic violence services. We are writing this statement of solidarity and inclusion as a commitment to TNBI communities, that we will never turn someone away because of their gender identity or sex. We are actively committed to working with other organisations throughout Brighton and Hove, and nationally, to improve access for our communities, and to make this a safer world to live in.