Staying safe in the city

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to highlight the support available in the city, Liverpool Community Health Trust (LCH) Sexual Health Services are joining together to promote the services available and how to stay safe.

Safe Place Merseyside, Liverpool’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) provides free confidential support and advice to anyone affected by domestic violence or sexual abuse. The Armistead Centre situated in Hanover Street also provides advice and support around any issues affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Staff from Sexual Health Services have been taking part in the “Consent is” campaign which aims to address what consent is, what it means to people and how people can recognise and understand/identify safe and consensual sex.

Rape is still against the law even if the perpetrator is your partner. Many victims are raped by their partners and Safe Place would encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual assault to come forward.

Shelly Stoops, Manager of Safe Place said, “Same sex domestic violence is an issue that is less visible and may be harder to recognise as most information on domestic abuse relates to the experiences of heterosexual women. However, some evidence suggests that there is domestic violence in 1 out of 4 LGBT relationships.”

Martin Fenerty, Operational Manager of the Armistead Centre added “People from LGBT communities may also find it hard to speak out as they do not want to disclose their sexuality to police or services. If you have any issues regarding LGBT domestic abuse you can call Armistead or get in touch with Broken Rainbow UK an LGBT domestic violence charity.”

For more information about Safe Place Merseyside please visit www.safeplacemerseyside.org.uk  or you can call Safe Place’s helpline which is open 24 hours a day on 0151 295 3550.

For more information about Armistead Centre please visit http://www.armisteadcentre.co.uk/ or you can call Armistead’s helpline Mon-Sat 10.00am-6.00pm on 0151 247 6560.

Alternatively you can follow the services on Twitter @ArmisteadCentre and @SafePlaceMside.

To get in touch with Broken Rainbow UK you can call 0800 999 5428 or visit www.brokenrainbow.org.uk.