Q& A Session with Peter Kelley, coordinator
Peter Kelley is a service manager and a coordinator of DAP at London’s LGBT anti-violence and abuse charity GALOP. DAP is a pan-London partnership formed of five LGBT organisations directly or indirectly working with victims or survivors of domestic violence. Stonewall Housing, Galop, Pace, London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, and Broken Rainbow UK each provide different services for LGBT victims / survivors of domestic abuse (DA) and form a holistic approach to LGBT DA service provision across London.
Primarily DAP came together because we wanted to broaden the understanding of gender based violence. On one hand we wanted to recognise women and girls’ experiences of domestic violence, but at the same time we intended to raise awareness of domestic violence as experienced by LGBT and the fact their needs were not addressed by the system. There was an established a pattern of how violence against women and girls was handled and addressed, but there was no such pattern with LGBT people. There was very little hands-on assistance or even advocacy for survivors across different sectors. However, LGBT survivors needed someone to hold their hand when decided to report or were undergoing court proceedings. This is where the system was failing them. So on one hand establishing DAP was filling the gap in service provision, as it aims to provide a fully comprehensive service for survivors, around advocacy, housing and counselling, on the other hand it was also about formalising already existent partnerships and establishing an LGBT DA borough based service across London.
What is your own role as a coordinator and how does the partnership work in practice?
DAP has actually been around for about six years, however the last two years have seen an expansion of participating agencies which increased the scope of the project. All the agencies connect via steering meetings which are organised three to four times a year. A service user, or professional acting on their behalf, will only have to contact one of the 5 DAP partners to access the project – either through their telephone helpline or online. If the service user agrees, a DAP caseworker assesses the level risk to ensure their safety. Once a service-user has been assessed, we are able to offer appropriate services to them. We refer high-risk cases to local MARACs [Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference] when appropriate. Due to funding requirements monitoring forms a big part of the project. Funders are particularly interested in numbers and quantitative outcomes, such as the number of service users across individual boroughs and the scope and quality of support offered as councillors want to know what’s being delivered in their local area. As a coordinator my main role is to follow up with all the partners, collect and analyse data and present it so it able to addresses project objectives. I also represent DAP in individual boughs, with individual local groups and with MARAC.
About 1/3rd of our clients are LBT women and a further 5% clients identify as a gender other than male. We’ve targeted women in particular publicity campaigns and we’d also offer LBT survivors access to women only staff/services if requested. We continue to make links with VAWG (violence against women and girls) organisations – for example we’ve recently become part of a VAWG partnership in West London and will be working to offer an enhanced service to LBT women in this area.
What are the main achievements of the partnership so far?
Just in the last two years, the combined services have had a contact with over a thousand LGBT people across London who have used support from at least one of the DAP services The community response in individual boroughs has been overwhelming contributing to micro-successes s like being able to re-house people, encourage victims to leave abusive relationships. Counselling support had really developed under DAP, there is comprehensive one-to-one support available now, which wasn’t there before. The partnership also organises various workshops as a way of supporting survivors. We have also been successful in gathering much more evidence and information around the domestic abuse that happens to LGBT people. The project does produce information that wasn’t there before to form a public story around LGBT domestic violence and needs of survivors. Forming and sustaining the partnership and everyone working so well together is an achievement in itself. We have enhanced and influenced each-other’s work. There’s not that many examples of long-term partnership between LGBT organisations. Ultimately we’ve been able to meet and to speak as one voice towards not only funders but stakeholders and partners I think in many respects the DAP has provided a model for other kind of partnerships to follow. The reasons why the DAP has been able to work well it’s because we’ve been supporting each-other’s work and not replicating each-other’s work.
DAP range of services:
- Emergency advice and safety planning
- Housing advice/advocacy, including finding safe accommodation
- Emotional support
- Support groups
- Legal advice on civil or criminal protection (e.g., non-molestation orders)
- Support with police
- Assisted police reporting and non-police reporting of incidents
- Support through civil and criminal court system
- Help finding solicitors
- Advice on child safety and child contact issues
- Family/parent support
- Specific support around sexual abuse
A pan-London charity providing support and advocacy for survivors of DV, sexual violence and hate crime.
Helpline: 020 7704 2040
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
Provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people throughout the United Kingdom.
Responds to the emotional, mental and physical health needs of lesbians and gay men in the greater London area.
Counselling Helpline 020 7697 0014
Provides housing advice and supported housing for LGBT people.
Adviceline 020 7359 5767