Domestic Abuse of LGBTQ+ People

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament am 12:52 pm ar 9 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Liam McArthur Liam McArthur Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol 12:52, 9 Mai 2024

I ask those who are leaving the public gallery to do so as quickly and quietly as possible.

The next item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S6M-12342, in the name of Collette Stevenson, on shining a light on domestic abuse in LGBT+ history month. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

Motion debated,

That the Parliament condemns domestic abuse in all its forms; understands that domestic abuse often consists of intimate partner violence (IPV), and that this is defined by the World Health Organization as behaviours including sexual abuse, violence, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner; is concerned by Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) statistics showing that 30,139 charges were reported to COPFS with a domestic abuse identifier in 2022-23; notes that these figures show that the accused was male in 86% of these cases; understands that Police Scotland statistics for 2021-22 show that 1,691 domestic abuse incidents were recorded with same-sex victims and suspected perpetrators, representing around 3.5% of incidents in which gender was recorded, but that the data is not broken down for transgender people; believes that these statistics are a stark reminder of what it considers to be the unacceptable levels of domestic abuse in Scotland, but considers that these likely underestimate the scale of LGBTQ+ domestic abuse; understands that research suggests that 30% to 45% of LGBTQ+ people will ever experience IPV, which, it believes, is in line with cisgender women in heterosexual relationships; notes the view that structural inequalities could be prohibiting LGBTQ+ victims of domestic abuse from coming forward or receiving the support that it considers they deserve from services; acknowledges that the theme of LGBT+ History Month 2024, “Medicine: #UnderTheScope”, aims to showcase the work of LGBT+ healthcare staff and highlight what it sees as the health inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ people today; believes that domestic abuse is a public health issue; considers that the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 strengthened the law to protect people in East Kilbride and across Scotland against abusive behaviour, including physical and psychological abuse, as well as coercive control; recognises the Scottish Government’s Equally Safe strategy to tackle violence against women and girls; notes the calls for a national LGBTQ+ domestic abuse policy, with specific outcomes and measures to help the community, including ensuring that services and staff have the right procedures and training to ensure that LGBTQ+ people get appropriate support; further notes the belief that such a policy could be aligned with or supplementary to Equally Safe, which, it considers, offers a good framework for such a policy; notes reports that LGBTQ+ people can face barriers in accessing services, including potential stigma, misunderstanding of LGBTQ+ relationships, and what it considers to be default heterosexual norms; further notes the calls for a comprehensive analysis to identify gaps in domestic abuse service provision for LGBTQ+ individuals, to ensure routine risk assessment processes are more inclusive for LGBTQ+ experiences, and to ensure that LGBTQ+ people are considered and included in sexual violence and domestic abuse courses; acknowledges that a roundtable on LGBTQ+ IPV was held in the Parliament on 8 February 2024, with stakeholders including members of the LGBTQ+ community and representatives from the third sector, local authorities and Police Scotland; understands that this roundtable for the wider LGBTQ+ community builds on previous research by academics in Scotland, including Dr Steven Maxwell, from the University of Glasgow, and Professor Jamie Frankis, from Glasgow Caledonian University, into same-sex male relationship IPV; believes that LGBTQ+ people experiencing domestic abuse should not be made to feel invisible, and notes that people who have experienced domestic abuse are encouraged to seek the support to which they are entitled.