On Thursday, 28 May 2020 Lifeline Darling Downs will recognise the inaugural LGBTI+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day. Australia’s first LGBTI+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day aims to shine a light on domestic violence experienced within LGBTI+ relationships.

Click here to visit the LGBTI+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day website.

Research suggests that domestic violence in LGBTI+ relationships is under acknowledged and misunderstood. Up to 62% of LGBTIQ+ people have experienced domestic violence in their relationships, yet awareness of the issue and reporting rates are very low. A recent report found that as few as 5.3% of LGBTI+ people who experienced domestic violence within their relationship reported this to police.

As few as 5.3% of LGBTI+ people who experienced domestic violence within their relationship reported this to police.

Violence in LGBTI+ relationships is similar to that which occurs in heterosexual relationships in that it involves the use of power, coercion and control. However, there are a number of aspects which are unique to domestic violence in LGBTI+ relationships. These include:

  • Using ‘outing’ as a method of control;
  • A lack of awareness of domestic violence in LGBTI+ community; and,
  • Increased concerns about confidentiality and isolation for people in LGBTI+ relationships.

There are also few, or no, services providing specialised domestic violence support for LGBTI+ people. Most general domestic violence services, like refuges, court assistance schemes, and counselling services have limited experience in working with LGBTI+ domestic violence and may not provide appropriate support. Additional barriers for LGBTI+ people accessing services include discrimination (real or feared) and a lack of awareness and sensitivity to LGBTI+ issues.

Many LGBTI+ people who have experienced domestic violence in their relationships feel invisible or that no one will believe them.

We encourage you to join with us to show members of our LGBTI+ communities that you’re here for them by participating in the #ImHereForYou campaign. This campaign is being launched by QuAC (Queensland AIDS Council), DVConnect and the Queensland Government as part of National Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

The objective of the campaign is to:

  • Raise awareness of domestic violence within LGBTIQ+ communities
  • Remember LGBTIQ+ victims of domestic violence who have lost their lives
  • Recognise LGBTIQ+ survivors
  • Support those LGBTIQ+ people currently in an abusive relationship.

You can get involved by posting a photo or video with the hashtag #ImHereForYou and a message of support for LGBTIQ+ victims and survivors of domestic violence to your social media. Don’t forget to include the tag @LGBTI.DV.Awareness.Day

As always, if you or someone you know is experiencing crisis please call 13 11 14 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or text 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight 7 days a week.

For all other enquiries you can contact Lifeline Darling Downs on 1300 991 443.