LGBTQ+ & DV
DVConnect Board Member, Queensland Police Officer, DV Survivor and Founder of the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day discusses DV and the LGBTQ+ community on The Project.
Same Sex | Domestic Violence
Physical abuse between same sex couples is described as a silent epidemic in the gay community. And, one young policeman is determined to change that because – he’s experienced it himself. Patrick Abboud spoke to these brave survivors. For confidential supportt call – 1800 RESPECTPosted by The Project on Monday, 15 June 2020
DVConnect helps everyone and this includes the LGBTQ+ community. If you identify as LGBTQ+ and you are experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, please know that we are here to help you. You are not alone. DVConnect uses the LGBTQ+ acronym to refer to people who are from sexually or gender diverse communities and who may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer, questioning or asexual.
Domestic, family and sexual violence is never the fault of the person being abused or controlled. It’s the responsibility of the person using power and control to stop their abusive behaviour. Domestic, family or sexual violence can happen in any type of relationship or intimate partnership. It can happen in lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, monogamous, open, polyamorous, dating, long-term, living together or not living together and even long distance. It can happen to people who are:
The Queensland Government has released ‘Queer without Fear – Domestic and Family Violence in LGBTI Relationships’ LGBTQ+ Handbook which may be helpful to you.
Domestic and family violence can take many forms. Take this ‘Relationship Checklist‘ from ‘Another Closet’ to assess your relationship.
How is domestic, family and sexual violence different in LGBTQ+ relationships?
Most LGBTQ+ relationships are based on love and respect. However, unfortunately, some are based on power and control. Abuse and control within a relationship is domestic and family violence. When present in LGBTQ+ relationships, sexual, domestic and family violence can involve perpetrators using tactics unique to those relationships. It can also involve increased risk due to the valid fears that people who identify as LGBTQ+ may have about disclosing violence. These can include:
- The threat of being ‘outed’ if the abused partner has not disclosed their sexuality, gender, intersex status to family, friends, workplace or cultural community;
- Telling, or threatening to tell, others about HIV status (or other illness) without permission;
- Applying pressure to have surgery to “normalise” a partner’s body, sex organs or physical appearance;
- Pressure to confirm, look or act more ‘male’, ‘female’ or straight;
- The fear of a lack of confidentiality within, or of being isolated from LGBTQ+ communities;
- A fear of discrimination or minimisation by police, legal systems and service providers;
- Fear of non-offending parents that their right to stay with their children may be challenged due to different legal rights of LGBTQ+ parents;
- Financial discrimination that makes accessing shared financial resources of an LGBTQ+ couple more difficult or impossible;
- A fear of nowhere to go for support that is safe and culturally appropriate;
- Shame and confusion around society’s assumptions that women are not violent and men cannot be victims;
- Threatening to hurt or actually hurting pets;
- Putting the partner down, e.g. telling them that they are ugly, stupid, worthless or incompetent;
- Humiliating them in front of friends, family or in public;
- Threatening to harm family members or children, or treating children in a disrespectful or abusive manner;
- Undermining the relationship between the partner and their children;
- Threatening to self-harm or commit suicide;
- Operating video surveillance cameras and audio recording devices in the home to monitor the activities of the partner;
- Monitoring the partner’s movements.
There are many more types of domestic and family violence and you can read about them here.
Do you want to chat?
- If you identify as a woman, please call our Womensline: 1800 811 811
- If you identify as a male, please call our Mensline: 1800 600 636
If you identify as non-binary or gender diverse, call the service you feel most comfortable contacting, and let us know your pronouns.
- If you have experienced sexual violence, call our Sexual Assault Helpline: 1800 010 120
Additional LGBTIQ support services who can help
- 1800RESPECT: If you want to chat about your situation, 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is available 24/7. They understand that domestic violence within the LGBTQ+ community has unique differences.
- Diverse Voices: Formerly the Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association Queensland, Diverse Voices is a non-profit organisation with a focus on the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ communities through the operation of the Gay Line and Lesbian Line, a peer telephone counselling service. You can also access their counselling service QLife. QLife provides a place to talk about mental health, relationships, isolation, coming out, and a host of other concerns. Call 1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight, 7 days) or online chat (3pm to midnight, 7 days).
- Expanded Horizons Program: The Expanded Horizons Program is delivered by Wesley Mission Queensland and provides support to young LGBTIQAP+ Queenslanders in the Gold Coast region through the delivery of 2 programs: QSpace for 12 to 17 year olds, and QPlus for 18 to 25 year olds. Call 1300 865 302 or comlete the contact form.
- LGBTI Legal Service: The LGBTI Legal Service provides legal advice and information to clients who have legal problems arising from their identification as LGBTIQ and/or because they feel more comfortable dealing with a solicitor with specific skills, interest and understanding of LGBTIQ legal issues and the barriers experienced by these communities in accessing the legal system. They may assist you with legal issues associated with: family law, domestic violence, surrogacy and parenting rights, criminal law, discrimination, victims support, civil matters, legal issues in relation to government decisions and Centrelink employment.
- National LGBTI Health Alliance: The National LGBTI Health Alliance is the national peak health organisation in Australia that provides health-related programs, services and research focused on LGBTIQ communities.
- Open Doors Youth Service: Open Doors Youth Service provides support services to LGBTIQAP+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy young people aged 12 to 24 years and their families who live in South East Queensland. An initial ‘intake’ appointment is required to access the service. Please call Open Doors Youth Service to book this in with one of their Workers.
- PFLAG (for parents): Parent & Friends of Lesbians and Gays Brisbane (PFLAG) is a support group for parents of LGBTQ+ people in Queensland. They also strive to support LGBTIQ people who are, or fear, they may be abandoned by their families. Contact PFLAG on phone 0400 767 832 or email.
- Queensland AIDS Council: The Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) is an independent, community-based health promotion charity which helps all LGBTQ+ people to achieve the best possible health and well being.
- Queensland Police: The Queensland Police Service LGBTIQ Liaison Program provides support and assistance to LGBTQ+ community members when dealing with police matters. If you wish to speak to an LGBTQ+ Liaison Officer, please advise the officer taking your complaint or contact PoliceLink on 131 444, who will identify a liaison officer in your area. Find out more. Call 131 444.
- Say it out loud: Say it out loud encourages people from LGBTQ+ communities to start talking about their relationships, including what is wonderful and unique about them, how they can improve them, and what behaviours won’t be accepted by individuals and as a community.
- Headspace: headspace is run by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, providing mental health services for young people aged 12 to 25. Call 1800 650 890 or online chat or email.
- Kids Helpline: Kids Helpline is a free and confidential counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25 years. You can talk to a counsellor via phone 1800 551 800 (24 hours), online chat or by email.