Victim Support is launching Rainbow Bridge, a new specialist service in Cardiff and The Vale to support victims of domestic abuse from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.

The service, which is the first of its kind in Wales, will offer victims confidential emotional support and practical information tailored to their individual needs. This could include helping victims stay safe while exploring their options to make abuse stop, or assisting victims with housing and welfare benefits.

The service also has a mentoring and befriending scheme for those affected by domestic abuse within the LGBT community, run by specially trained staff and volunteers.

The service launches with an event for sector professionals today at The Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay, featuring workshops from Youth Cymru and The All Wales National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre in which young transgender people talk about the issues they face. Theatre company ‘Taking Flight’ will also be acting out an abusive LGBT relationship to raise awareness of the issues victims of this crime face. The event is sponsored by Assembly Member Mark Isherwood and features key note speeches from Luke Young of Stonewall Cymru and Sophie Howe, Deputy Police Crime Commissioner for South Wales.

Jessica Rees, Victim Support LGBT Domestic Abuse Coordinator for Cardiff and The Vale, says:

“Tragically, one in three of the LGBT community are affected by domestic abuse – a crime that can ruin or, in the worst of circumstances, end lives.

“But thanks to this new service, funded by the Big Lottery, LGBT domestic abuse victims can get the support they deserve.

“Victim Support is here to help everyone affected by this horrendous crime. Victims of LGBT domestic abuse do not need to go to the police to access our services and can seek help securely and confidentially by calling 0300 3031 982 or emailing”