LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day: What’s happening in WA?

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

May 28 marks LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, an opportunity to highlight the needs of our communities when it comes to prevention and support.

First marked in Australia in 2020, the day aims to shine a light on family, partner and intimate violence in LGBTQIA+ relationships, and the need for tailored support services for survivors and training for those seeking to provide assistance.

Director of training and support organisation Connection and Wellbeing Australia (CAWA), Bella Broadway, notes LGBTQIA+ community experiences are often vastly different, especially when it comes to support or seeking help.

“LGBTIQA+ people often don’t view their experiences as Family Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence, as the public health messaging does not represent them or their lives,” Broadway tells OUTinPerth.

“Services are often not able to meet the need of LGBTIQA+ community so the burden falls to friends and chosen community who also may not have an understanding of how to work with FDV or IPV.”

Statistics often don’t reflect what is happening here in Western Australia where national research often focuses on the eastern states, though recent figures show that nationwide more than 4 in 10 LGBTQIA+ people had experienced abuse from a partner, while almost 4 in 10 had experienced abuse from a family member.

“Several years ago there was more happening across WA in this space and there has been some amazing individuals and organisations who have tried to keep this in the agenda for decades,” Broadway continued.

“WA has so much wisdom and expertise – we just need the resources to make real change happen.”

On the west coast, Connection and Wellbeing Australia have been working for the last five years to deliver LGBTQIA+ specific FDV and IPV workshops to service providers, counsellors, first responders and police to help them understand the unique drivers and contributors to LGBTQIA+ FDV and IPV.

“This year we have also partnered with Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing to deliver a series of workshops in LGBTIQA+ Inclusive Practice, LGBTIQA+ FDV, and LGBTIQA+ Sexual Violence workshops to help build the capacity of these services to meet the diverse needs of the community.”

“This is an important act of visible Allyship as these gendered services begin to reflect on how on they can begin to do better to support LGBTIQA+ communities.”

CAWA have also partnered with the LGBTQ FDV Awareness Foundation for the launch of the establishment of a WA-based coordinator to help bring these issues to light in WA.

“WA is a long way behind many eastern states in terms or research, specific LGBTIQA support services and resourcing this work to be able to make wide-reaching systemic change,” Broadway adds.

“We are really starting from a very different place here in WA, there is a lot of work yet to be done.”

This year, CAWA are attending an event with WA Police to mark LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, alongside their work advocating for the McGowan Government to commit to LGBTQIA+ FDV prevention.

“It will take the efforts of the whole of LGBTIQA+ community groups and mainstream FDV services to begin to lessen the gaps that exist in WA. We were heartened to see Simone McGurk’s office share an acknowledgment on LGBTQ FDV Awareness Day on their social media this year. We hope that this signals a willingness to work with us in the future,” Broadway says.

“Hopefully with the launch of the foundation in WA we can work together to build momentum and real action.”

CAWA have also created a resource to help raise awareness on LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, check it out here to help spread the word.

LGBTQIA+ FDV Awareness Day Workshop & Launch will be held on Tuesday May 31.


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.

DISCHARGED[email protected]discharged.org.au
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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