Funding from the Department of Social Services is set to bolster efforts to address domestic and family violence (DFV) in the LGBTIQ community. The $340,000 will help nationalise an online DFV resource developed and delivered for NSW by ACON, Australia’s largest LGBTIQ health organisation.
Produced by ACON, Say It Out Loud (sayitoutloud.org.au) is a website that provides information, support and resources to address abuse in LGBTIQ relationships as well as information about what a healthy relationship looks like and tips on how to have one.
With federal funding over a two year period, Say it Out Loud will be expanded to have nationally appropriate and state-specific content, such as state-wide referral information, support options, as well as relevant legal information and legislation for each state.
The aim is to create a single source of information and support for LGBTIQ community members and build the capacity of services and professionals working with LGBTIQ individuals across the nation.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says the LGBTIQ community faces a range of specific issues in relation to DFV and added that DFV in the LGBTIQ community mirrors the types and levels of DFV in the broader community, with one in three lesbian and gay people having experienced DFV in their current or in a previous relationship, and bisexual, transgender and gender diverse people are at even greater risk.
“While we know that the physical, emotional and personal costs of DFV in our communities are often the same as they are for non-LGBTIQ people, there are some unique aspects experienced by LGBTIQ people that require messaging that has the ability to reach our communities where mainstream messaging and information has struggled,” Mr Parkhill says.
“Because of several barriers many LGBTIQ people experience in relation to the reporting and discussing of DFV such as discrimination and shame, victims are often left to suffer in isolation and don’t feel comfortable in reporting abuse or seeking help from support services. There is also the added fear for many victims that the abusive partner will ‘out’ them to family, friends, or work colleagues, or reveal their HIV status or other personal and health information.
“This is a great opportunity for ACON to share our expertise and resources with other states, particularly where there is little to no dedicated funding for LGBTIQ communities to address DFV.
“It’s heartening to see investment at a federal level that recognises the need across the country for information and support for LGBTIQ people. An expansion of the website allows for a greater provision of campaigns, services and programs that support LGBTIQ people experiencing an incredibly distressing issue.
“We warmly welcome this funding from the Department of Social Services which will enable us to not only shine a light on DFV issues in our community on a national scale, but also further support the strength and resilience of LGBTIQ people and thereby help to improve our collective health and wellbeing.”
ACON’s work in relation to DFV raises awareness of both the rates of violence in LGBTIQ relationships and we contribute to the growing evidence base and targeted of interventions specifically for LGBTIQ communities. We continue to advocate for specialist support services and inclusive responses to DFV.
To find out more about Say It Out Loud and for more information about domestic and family violence in LGBTIQ communities, please visit www.sayitoutloud.org.au.
For more information please contact: David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications
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