LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day shows need for action

Warning: This article contains mentions of domestic and intimate partner violence.

LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day is coming up this Friday 28th May, following the theme #SeenAndBelieved.

First marked in Australia just last year, the day aims to shine a light on domestic violence in LGBTQ+ relationships, and the need for tailored support services for survivors and training for those seeking to provide assistance.

Here in Western Australia, Connection and Wellbeing Australia (CAWA) will be running a special workshop to outline how family & domestic violence (FDV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) presents in LGBTQIA+ relationships and specific contributors, as well as unique LGBTQIA+ challenges and how mainstream services can work inclusively with our communities.

CAWA Founder and Managing Director Bella Broadway has been running these workshops for years, hoping to expand understand of these subjects within local groups and services.

This LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, Bella is particularly concerned about gaps in funding, as well as a lack of safe and inclusive services for LGBTQIA+ people.

“There is so much more work to be done and for now we need to do whatever we can to build the capacity of services and the community to better support LGBTIQA+ people who are experiencing FDV and IPV,” Bella tells OUTinPerth.

“Like many other health and wellbeing issues, the burden of support has fallen to informal LGBTIQA+ groups and individuals to provide support when it is needed.”

“Our community has a history of meeting the gaps when our systems and structures aren’t able to provide what we need. If you are non-binary or trans and can’t access a shelter, or single gendered spaces aren’t safe for you because your partner is able to access them, or emergency responders aren’t able to identify situations of FDV and IPV due to stereotypes and misinformation they have, then the responses we have to this issue are not meeting the needs of our community.”

“Like many other issues – the experiences and needs of the LGBTIQA+ community are unique and services and supports need to reflect that.”

Bella will also be speaking at the WA Police Family and Domestic Violence Conference on Thursday the 27th May, a first for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in this area.

“Seeing services and supports make commitments to learn the barriers that the LGBTIQA+ face in seeking help for this issue and learning how they can better understand the needs of the community is a vital step forward,” Bella continues.

“We also need to build the capacity of the LGBTIQA+ community to better understand what FDV and IPV looks like, as the public health messaging on this issue has missed the mark in being able to reflect the experiences of the community and help them understand how power and control can look in LGBTIQA+ relationships.

CAWA is working with key service providers and LGBTIQA+ community to seek funding for a broader project that can help address the gaps that exist for people seeking support.

“Until we can fund this larger piece of work it is about working with LGBTIQA+ peers and service provider allies who can help meet the needs as best as they can in the current system,” Bella tells us.

“We treat everyone the same just doesn’t cut it. We need action and systemic change.”

“We are throwing out the challenge to government, departments, service providers to connect with us. Only together will we be able to make the systemic changes needed to ensure that LGBTIQA+ have access to equitable and safe supports.”

LGBTQIA+ Family and Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence workshop will be held on Friday 28th May at The Platform Perth.

To register for the workshop head to Surveyplanet or for more info about CAWA head over to connectionandwellbeing.com.au

Leigh Andrew Hill


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

White Ribbon Australia: 1800 RESPECT
Please note this service is not LGBTQIA+ specific.

DISCHARGED: 9364 6909 / waamh.org.au / [email protected]
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au

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