Domestic abuse group set up in Weston to help victims from LGBTQ+ community

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 November 2019

Steve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. .    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Steve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A victim of physical and mental abuse has created a support group to help others in a similar position.

Steve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. .    Picture: MARK ATHERTONSteve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Steve Mellor, who is gay and lives in Weston, founded the LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse Awareness after struggling to find support groups when he needed help.

The 32-year-old created a YouTube channel and Instagram page where he shares victims' stories regarding domestic abuse, as well as gives advice on what to do.

He said his motivation for starting the group was the suffering he endured.

Steve said: "Domestic abuse isn't talked about much in gay or LGBTQ+ relationships.

Steve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. .    Picture: MARK ATHERTONSteve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"The group isn't just for gay men it's for the whole community, they all have the same experiences but people don't openly speak about it.

"Considering people are openly gay, I found it hard at first to socialise because of what I went through.

"I found it hard to put myself out there again.

"If you spoke to me about a month ago or so, I was broken. I wasn't speaking to people. I'd be in Pride bar standing by myself then go home.

Steve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. .    Picture: MARK ATHERTONSteve Mellor who has started a new domestic abuse awareness group. . Picture: MARK ATHERTON

"Now I want to help others in the same situation."

Steve is working with North Somerset Council to verify bars which are safe to go to for victims of domestic abuse.

In creating the social media pages, he has received thousands of emails and support from people all over the world.

Steve added: "It was a headache getting here, now I'm here I have everything that I need.

"I'm happy with where I am right now.

"It has been difficult but I've received support from my family and friends.

"I've had people come up to me saying I have done amazingly and calling me brave. I'm overwhelmed by it.

"I have been in contact with North Somerset Council to help raise more awareness and I will be working to identify bars which are safe for victims of domestic abuse."

The domestic abuse specialists provide advice and direct support to men and women.

For more information, visit www.bit.ly/2puAABx. To find out more information about domestic abuse, North Somerset have the DAFFS line, 0800 694 9999 which opens on weekdays from 8am-5pm.

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