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Thursday 28 May 2020 is the inaugural LGBTIQA+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day to be recognised across Australia. The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS) and Meridian (formerly AIDS Action Council) are working in partnership to promote the day and draw awareness of the occurrence of domestic and family violence experienced by the LGBTIQA+ community.

DVCS Chief Executive, Sonia Di Mezza said “Domestic violence happens to LGBTIQA+ people in their relationships too. It’s not just physical violence, but also psychological violence of which some can be very complex.

“It’s important people know it doesn’t have to happen within the home, or between people who are living together. It can occur between people who are in an intimate relationship, but might not be living together.”

In addition to the violence experienced by the wider communities, people of diverse sexualities or gender identities can also experience ‘outing’ or threats of ‘outing’ of their sexual orientation or gender identity to their employers, families or publically. This is another tool of power and control used.

“As a community, we need to have a frank and open discussion about the domestic and family violence experiences of LGBTIQA+ people in our relationships. Domestic and family violence deeply harms our communities and it is having a significant toll on our health and wellbeing. While there are many similarities in the patterns of violence, there are also many differences that need to be acknowledged and addressed” Meridian Chief Executive Officer, Philippa Moss said.

In 2018, the AIDS Action Council and the Women’s Centre for Health Matters completed a survey on same-sex attracted women and their experiences of violence, including domestic and family violence. 59% of respondents had experienced sexual, domestic or family violence. 34% of violence was at the hands of a current or former partner. 35% of respondents experienced violence at the hands of another family member.

The Australian Research Centre for Health and Sexuality (ARCHS) conducted a national survey which identified about 28% of male-identifying respondents and 41% of female-identifying respondents reported having been in a relationship where a partner was abusive.

“DVCS remains operational during COVID and is able to provide support to anyone in our community who is impacted by domestic and family violence, including LGBTI people. If you are worried about a loved one, we are happy to chat with you too” said Ms Di Mezza.

Media Enquiries:

Philippa Moss
Chief Executive Officer
Meridian (formerly AIDS Action Council)
E: philippa.moss@meridianact.org.au
P: (02) 6257 2855

Alanna Davis
Domestic Violence Crisis Service
M: 0402 073 957
E: alanna@dvcs.org.au

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