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New resource & helpline service for LGBTI survivors

New resource & helpline service for LGBTI survivors

From Friday 19th February, Rape Crisis Scotland will be offering a specialist support service on the national helpline for LGBTI survivors of sexual violence, and their friends and families.

This will complement existing services and offer LGBTI survivors an additional opportunity to seek support responsive to their experiences from specially trained support workers. Rape Crisis Scotland National Co-ordinator, Sandy Brindley said “We know that LGBTI survivors can experience unique stresses following sexual violence, which can make it even more difficult to report what has happened to them or to come forward and seek help. With our new resources and helpline service, Rape Crisis Scotland is taking proactive steps to overcome these barriers, and we want to highlight the fact that our support is fully inclusive, and able to respond to all survivors, whatever their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

LGBTI survivors can call the Rape Crisis Scotland helpline at any time, but highlighting particular hours in this way is intended to offer an additional opportunity for survivors to seek support in the confident knowledge that Rape Crisis Scotland is able to respond to their needs, and understands that gender identity and sexual orientation can be a major factor in the way survivors experience the impact of abuse. The new service will operate on Mondays and Thursdays between 7pm and midnight. The number to call is 08088 01 03 02.

Rape Crisis Scotland has also produced a new resource for LGBTI survivors, which is available in both print and digital formats. This new leaflet, which was developed in consultation with LGBTI survivors and partner organisations Scottish Transgender Alliance, LGBT Youth Scotland, and LGBT Health & Wellbeing, outlines in detail the particular challenges LGBTI survivors may face, and also gives information on what they can expect if they seek support from Rape Crisis Scotland.

The new LGBTI resource is the first of its kind in Scotland.

The new service and resource are among many steps Rape Crisis Scotland is currently taking as it works towards receiving an LGBT Charter Mark – an indication that an organisation has trained staff and put in place all necessary steps to ensure that its services and resources are fully inclusive and able to respond sensitively and appropriately to the needs of the LGBTI community.

James Morton of Scottish Transgender Alliance said:
“Rape Crisis Scotland’s new resource and helpline service are really important ways of reassuring LGBTI people that they will receive inclusive and empathetic support. Our research indicates that trans people are at particular risk of sexual assault as a form of transphobic hate crime and often fear further humiliation if they seek help. Intersex people are born with physical bodies which are not clearly male or female and are at particular risk of childhood abuse trauma from coercive medical interventions on their genitals. Feelings of shame about having bodies which vary from societal expectations can hinder intersex people from seeking help. Rape Crisis Scotland's work demonstrating their awareness of these issues will hopefully encourage more survivors to reach out for support."

Brandi-Lee Lough Dennell of LGBT Youth Scotland said: “LGBT Youth Scotland welcomes the publication of the LGBTI Survivors of Sexual Violence resource. Since lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are often missing from public messages on abuse and violence, they may not recognise their experiences as abusive. This resource includes important information on concerns relevant to LGBT people and makes it clear to those who have experienced sexual violence that they will be understood and supported.”

If you would like to give us feedback on this resource or the new targeted service please do so here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8XV7LVS

The Rape Crisis Scotland helpline is open from 6pm to midnight, seven days a week on 08088 01 03 02. ? If you have any enquiries about the new resource and service please contact Sandie Barton on 0141 331 4187 or Eileen Maitland on 0141 331 4181 or email info@rapecrisisscotland.org.uk