THE DEWIS Choice Initiative, based at Aberystwyth University, is launching an evidence-based resource pack to support practitioners working with older LGBTQ+ victim-survivors who have experienced domestic abuse.

The resource pack, which consists of two short films and a practitioner toolkit, aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of practitioners working with older LGBTQ+ victim-survivors.

The first film entitled ‘Do You See Me?’ is a short documentary co-produced by fourteen older victim-survivors from the LGBTQ+ community. The film shines a light on the lived experiences of four older LGBT people who have experienced domestic abuse.

The second film entitled ‘Hidden Voices’ is a short practitioner film that raises awareness of domestic abuse within older LGBTQ+ relationships, and provides practical advice on how to respond appropriately to older LGBTQ+ victims.

The toolkit outlines the nature and prevalence of domestic abuse in LGBTQ+ relationships, providing case study examples to illustrate abuse dynamics.  In addition, it explores the barriers to accessing help, support and justice, drawing on the perspectives of practitioners and older LGBTQ+ people.

The resource provides guidance for practitioners on how to effectively respond to older LGBTQ+ victims of domestic abuse on an individual and organisational level.  It also discusses the value of adopting a multi-agency approach to support the needs of older LGBTQ+ victim-survivors.

The online launch of the new resource will take place on Wednesday 30 March at 1pm.  To register for the event visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/265814286687

The toolkit has been informed by the research findings, alongside learning gathering from older LGBTQ+ clients engaging with the Dewis Choice Initiative.

This area of research is funded by the National Community Fund and is led by Sarah Wydall, Rebecca Zerk and Elize Freeman.

Sarah Wydall, Principal Investigator on the Dewis Choice Initiative and Director of the Centre for Age, Gender and Social Justice at Aberystwyth University, explains: “This new resource is an important tool for practitioners working with older LGBTQ+ victim-survivors of domestic abuse, the content of which is directly informed by people’s lived experiences of help-seeking and specialist practitioners.

“We know that, as a group, LGBTQ+ people experience abuse at the same rate or higher rates than heterosexual people. Yet, despite growing recognition of LGBT people as victims of domestic abuse, older LGBT victims are often underrepresented within research, policy and practice.”

“Now for the first time, practitioners will have access to practical advice about how to respond appropriately to disclosures of domestic abuse by older LGBTQ+ people, and information and guidance on how to support them effectively.”

Dewis Choice is a Welsh based Initiative that combines service provision with research.  Working with partner organisations, the Initiative offers a unique and tailored service for older women, men and non-binary people who have experienced domestic abuse. The longitudinal research study has captured the lived experiences of older victims over a seven-year period, as they seek help and justice. The findings are widely disseminated across the United Kingdom to embed learnings into practice and bring about change for older people. To date, the Initiative team have trained over 15,000 practitioners across the United Kingdom.

For further information on the Dewis Choice Initiative visit: www.dewischoice.org.uk or follow them on Twitter @choiceolderppl.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are concerned about someone you know, help and support are available. You can contact the Live Fear Free helpline for free, confidential information 0808 80 10 800.