Making the invisible, visible: Older lesbian, gay and bisexual victim-survivors’ “lived experiences” of domestic abuse

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This paper aims to examine the use of coproduction to create a film “Do You See Me?”, to amplify the voices of a “hard to reach” group: older lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) victim-survivors of domestic abuse (DA).

Qualitative methods were used as part of the co-production, which included two practitioner focus groups and 14 narrative interviews with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning persons or the community (LGBTQ+) victim-survivors.

Despite differences in gender, sexualities, roles and “lived experiences” across stakeholders, there was a shared aim to ensure victim-survivors had a sense of ownership in this endeavour. Consequently, a positive reciprocity existed that helped to foster effective communication, allow for capacity building and subsequent knowledge exchange. The collaboration produced a nuanced meta-narrative making visible the “lived experiences” of LGB victim-survivors’ perceptions of perpetrator behaviours.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is original in two ways, firstly, providing insights into the “lived experiences” of an invisible group; older LGBTQ+ victim-survivors, and secondly, in involving them in the co-production of a film. The paper aims to reveal how interdependencies that developed between stakeholders helped to disrupt understandings, develop new ways of knowing and build levels of trust. Group interactions helped to dismantle hierarchies, so those with experiential knowledge: the survivors, had greater control throughout the research process. The paper is significant in providing a critical reflection on the ethical, methodological and resource challenges involved in co-production. It also makes recommendations for researchers and funders about the value of using co-production as a method to engage with hard-to-reach groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-185
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Adult Protection
Issue number3
Early online date03 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2023


  • Age
  • Choice
  • Co-production
  • Domestic abuse
  • Heteronormative
  • Inclusion
  • LGBTQ+
  • “Lived experiences”


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