Sigma Research

Prevalence of domestic violence among Lesbians & Gay men

Duration: April 2000 - September 2000

In Britain there has been little or no recognition that same-sex domestic violence even exists. Initiatives to address domestic violence either ignore the possibility of same sex domestic violence or specifically exclude it. This research demonstrates that same-sex domestic violence not only exists but has been experienced by 22% of Lesbian and Bisexual women and 29% of Gay and Bisexual men.

This small piece of research was commissioned by a television production company which was intending to make a documentary about Lesbians' and Gay men's experience of domestic violence. This data was not released until March 2003 as it was commissioned on the understanding that no data would be published until the television programme had been made and broadcast. This has not happened in the 30 months since this data was collected.

Six identical questions about the topic of same-sex domestic violence were embedded within two sexual behaviour surveys undertaken in the Summer of 2000.

The women's sample was recruited using a short self-completion questionnaire (two-sides of A4) to recruit a total of 1,911 women from Lesbian and Gay pride-type festivals in London (n=1,179), Brighton (n=455) and Leeds (n=429). Women were approached by recruiters and invited to complete the survey on the spot using a clipboard with pen attached. The inclusion criteria for women were that they were 16 years or older and resident in the UK and either: homosexually active in last twelve months, and / or Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual self-identified. Other results of this survey are available under the heading Lesbian & Bisexual Women's Sex Survey.

The male sample was recruited using a different method. Questions were added into the 2000 National Gay Men's Sex Survey, a community recruited survey done by Gay men's organisations and health promoters using a small (A6) booklet. It contained exactly the same six questions about having experienced domestic violence from a regular male partner. The booklet was designed to be sealed once complete and mailed to a Freepost address. It was distributed by health promoters who work with Gay men, Bisexual men or other men who have sex with men. In total, 27,000 leaflets were sent out to 61 different agencies who distributed it through community venues and in the course of their work. The inclusion criteria for the men were that they were resident in England or Wales and homosexually active in the last year. Overall, 1,485 booklets were returned which resulted in 1,391 men in this sample. Other details and results of this survey are available under the heading Vital Statistics - Gay Men's Sex Survey.

Results pertaining to same-sex domestic violence are available to download here.

Both questionnaires used are available to download in the Questionnaire section of this site.

Key contact: Ford Hickson

Tagged under: All LGBT people