About us

Our Terms of Reference (30 July 2014)

Working together to end domestic and sexual abuse towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* (LGBT*) people.

Language: Please note we use the term LGBT* to be inclusive of all intersex, non-binary, queer and questioning sexualities and spectrum of gender identities. LGBT* people may also identify with other protected characteristics including age, class, deaf/disability, HIV status, gender, race, religion, marital status, parent/carer responsibility.

The term domestic abuse is defined as:

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.” This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Domestic Abuse Forum (LGBT* DAF) is a network of practitioners, activists, researchers, service providers, commissioners, funders and representatives from public sector departments working in or around the issue of LGBT* domestic abuse.

It exists to provide individuals and organisations with support to develop, implement and improve services for LGBT* people who have experienced domestic abuse.

LGBT DAF recognises that LGBT* people experience multiple forms of discrimination and will search, challenge and eradicate injustice where it is found.

The main beneficiaries of the LGBT DAF are organisations and individuals in the Greater London area providing services to LGBT people. Secondary beneficiaries are individuals and organisations outside of the Greater London area
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT*) Domestic Abuse Forum (DAF) exists to provide an opportunity for those working in the LGBT domestic abuse sector to meet, network and exchange good practice with their colleagues.

LGBT DAF will help develop closer links between participating individuals and organisations, in order to improve the options available to clients as the services available in both the specialist and generic domestic abuse sector become clearer.

LGBT DAF is a bridge between both specialist and generic services. The forum will function as a problem-solving and enabling resource for its members.

LGBT DAF will have a role in helping to raise the profile of the issue of LGBT* domestic abuse among members and sharing information on policy developments at a local, pan-London and national level as appropriate.

LGBT DAF will promote the value of listening to survivors’ voices and where possible, promote experts by experience in all areas.

To facilitate good practice guidance, consultancy and training to service providers, government departments, commissioners and funders on issues relating to LGBT* domestic abuse
To influence the development of effective policies and commissioning to support good practice and help improve safety
To support the development of an effective, coordinated, multi-agency response to LGBT* domestic abuse
To increase public awareness of the specific issues faced by LGBT victim/survivors of domestic abuse
To increase professional awareness of front line, mainstream and LGBT specialist services about the specific issues faced by LGBT victim/survivors of domestic abuse
To improve the accessibility of services for LGBT* victim/survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse
To support research of current levels of LGBT* domestic abuse and service provision
To provide networking and learning opportunities for LGBT* DAF members
To promote good practice and challenge inappropriate or unsafe practice
To promote the inclusion and participation of LGBT* victim/survivors in the development of existing and new and services and organisations
To influence local, pan-London and central government policy with regards to LGBT* domestic abuse

Collaboration: Sharing knowledge and best practice is at the core of LGBT DAF

Diversity: LGBT DAF celebrates diversity and also recognises that domestic abuse may affect different LGBT people differently. LGBT DAF will proactively work with, learn from and support other equalities organisations working within the field of domestic abuse and will ensure that our work is based on an equality framework

Quality: LGBT DAF will strive to provide a professional and high quality service, be an effective communicator and ensure that the forum continues to learn and develop

Efficiency: LGBT DAF are committed to sharing expertise and experience to develop services that are both cost effective and improve efficiency in the delivery of services to LGBT* victim/survivors

LGBT* DAF is a second tier project and part of Stonewall Housing. It is currently funded by the Oak Foundation.
The Coordinator: Maria Sookias. Currently a part time paid position, line managed by Bob Green: CEO Stonewall Housing. The coordinator coordinates activities and events relating to the work of LGBT DAF.
The advisory group is made up from activists, researchers and practitioners who have specialist knowledge of domestic and sexual abuse experienced by LGBT* people. Participation to the advisory group is by invitation and reviewed annually, to ensure that representatives have a cross section of skills and community knowledge

The Advisory Group Current Membership is as follows. Hamida (Nia) Luke (Solace) Emily (Solace – Rape Crisis) Marianna (Rape CrisisEngland) Peter (Galop) Sarah (Galop) Catherine (Galop) Wendy / Mark/Jo(Broken Rainbow) Harri ( Activist) Bob (Stonewall Housing) Andy (Stonewall Housing) Tina (Stonewall Housing) Camille / Dorrett (Imkaan) Cath (SBHA) Sarah (BrightonTrans Pride) Jack (Rainbow Hamlets ) Andy (Roar-Stonewall Housing) Mark (Rise)

Advisory group members are invited to attend three meetings a year. Membership of the advisory group if reviewed annually.

Supporter membership is open to anyone who has an interest in or is working to end domestic abuse experienced by LGBT* people. Membership includes access to e-news, invitations to events, conferences and Linkedin LGBT DAF group discussions.

There is currently no fee for participating as a member but LGBT DAF reserves the right to levy a charge which shall not exceed administration costs.

All staff, advisory group and members are asked to adhere to ground rules at all events and online events. Failure to adhere to those ground rules may result in being asked to leave LGBT DAF. Ground rules are available to download here.
LGBT DAF events and conferences are open meetings, with participants representing various organisations and groups with a remit or specific interest in LGBT* domestic abuse.

LGBT DAF specific round tables are invitation only events on specific issues where there is a highly specialist interest, or a common consensus on recommendations has yet to be reached.

The Advisory group meet three times a year and act in an advisory capacity to support the project development. The advisory group may be asked to participate in developing shared guidance, research, events, publicity as might be appropriate

LGBT DAF believes that in the current climate, unity is strength. Creating lasting partnerships are more likely to survive in a climate of austerity. LGBT DAF’s Roar Survey found that over 70% of survivors did not approach services for support when experiencing domestic abuse. It is clear that there is capacity within this sector to develop complementary services. We are also realistic that in a climate where organisations are fighting for funding, it may not be in the best interests of organisations to share work, products and expertise that might put that service at risk.

LGBT DAF recognises that some products developed as part of the shared work of the forum could be commercially beneficial. Any products or resources developed by LGBT DAF should not be sold or shared for individual’s personal or their own organisation’s gain without prior agreement.

Revenue received by Stonewall Housing for work carried out by LGBT DAF, would be reinvested in the LGBT DAF Project.

LGBT DAF requests that members of the advisory group should act in the best interests of the forum and seek to promote the LGBT DAF where possible and disclose conflicts of interest at each meeting.

LGBT DAF are happy to pay to advisory group members to cover out of pocket expenses including travel and subsistence, in accordance with Stonewall Housing financial procedures.
LGBT DAF will endeavour to ensure that half day events remain priced at a cost that covers administrative costs.

Full day events will be charged on a sliding scale, the rate to be fixed annually by the advisory group.

LGBT DAF will collect information on member organisation to map current provision for the LGBT* communities in the UK, in addition to information on current research and practice relevant to those with a remit or specific interest in LGBT domestic abuse.

Communication between events will be via facebook, twitter, website, mailing list and Linkedin LGBT DAF group