KIRKLEES Council is appealing for gay, lesbian and bi-sexual people suffering domestic violence to come forward.

The council has commissioned a York- based research firm, Learning Curve, to try and establish the extent of the problem in Kirklees.

They want victims to take part in the research.

The council will also be reviewing its provision for people in same sex couples suffering violence from their partners.

The co-ordinator of Kirklees Domestic Violence Forum, Thelma Singleton, said officials knew same sex violence was a problem.

But they knew little about how serious it was, due to a lack of research and literature on the subject.

She added: "Without such research we cannot provide any services to help."

She said that possible actions could include a refuge, training for professionals to deal with the problems and studying the feasibility of establishing a network of supported lodgings for the lesbian, gay and bi- sexual community across West Yorkshire.

Ms Singleton said: "A lot of people may be suffering in silence. We want to know how many and how exactly we can help."

Learning Curve director Sue Roughton said all steps would be taken to protect people's confidentiality.

She added: "All information gathered will be treated with the utmost sensitivity."

The findings of the research will be published next January.

Anyone wishing to take part should phone Mrs Roughton on 01904 425452 or e-mail