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Training tackles intersectional identities in domestic violence support

SAYiT have developed a new training package that aims to recognise the experiences of BAMER LGBT+ survivors.

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Sincerely Media (Unsplash)

Trigger warning: Mentions of domestic violence

New training has been developed by SAYiT’s Call It Out project to recognise and support the intersecting identities of BAMER (Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority and Refugee) LGBT+ survivors of domestic violence.

The Call It Out project was first funded in 2019 with a core goal to ensure mainstream domestic abuse services become LGBT+ inclusive. Over the past two years they’ve delivered three training packages to domestic abuse services in South Yorkshire: LGBT+ identities, LGBT+ inclusion and LGBT+ domestic abuse. They’ve now developed and delivered a new fourth training package around BAMER LGBT+ domestic abuse training, the first of its kind in South Yorkshire.

The training was developed in recognition of the ways survivors with multiple identities face additional barriers to accessing support, and how identities such as ethnicity, religion or immigration status compound their experiences of domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault.

Some of these barriers include lack of faith in the police, concerns about disclosing sexual orientation or gender identity, and threats to immigration status. The organisation says there are also institutional barriers such as racism and transphobia which create huge gaps in specialist support.

The four-hour training session aims to raise awareness and provide skills to domestic abuse support workers, covering topics such as BAMER/LGBT+ experiences of abuse, barriers to support, and individual and institutional bias. It will provide support workers with the knowledge and practical tools to offer a “culturally competent practice to survivors and create change within services,” says Evie Muir, an LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Development Worker at SAYiT Sheffield.

The first of these sessions was delivered last month to staff members at Ashiana, a Sheffield-based BAMER domestic abuse service.“

One issue is that BAMER LGBT+ survivors are often faced with a difficult decision. Do I go to a BAMER organisation or an LGBT+ organisation? Which part of my identity do I align with the most? " Muir told Now Then. “This training is designed to ensure that all services are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support people of all intersecting identities.”

SAYiT are also hoping that this new training session, and their wider programme, will mean building partnerships with more BAMER-led organisations who would benefit from this work across the region. “This learning will be used to inform the way we interact with mainstream services, ensuring that BAMER LGBT+ voices are represented in the way we promote inclusion in the domestic abuse sector,” Muir added.

The new training session forms part of a larger body of work by the Call It Out project, which also includes a pledge around LGBT+ inclusion made by domestic abuse services across the region and the development of a Kitemark award, which would allow LGBT+ people to identify services which are an inclusive space.

Ultimately, the hope with this training is to ensure that BAMER LGBT+ survivors feel “confident and safe when reporting their abuse or seeking help, from services they know are committed to inclusive, intersectional practice.”

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