Today, 28 May 2020, marks Australia’s first LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day — a day to acknowledge and stand in solidarity with LGBTIQA+ communities and individuals who have experienced domestic and family violence.
Founded by Queensland’s DVConnect Board Member and Police Officer, Ben Bjarnesen, LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of domestic violence in LGBTIQ+ communities, remember victims of DV who have lost their lives, recognise LGBTIQ+ survivors and acknowledge the struggles of those LGBTIQ+ people who may currently be in an abusive relationship.
The LGBTIQ acronym is used to refer to people who are from sexually or gender diverse communities and who may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and gender diverse people are identified as being particularly vulnerable to domestic, family and sexual violence, with Australian Research Centre for Health and Sexuality (ARCHS) studies finding significant levels of intimate partner violence experienced by LGBTIQ respondents. However, awareness of the issue and reporting rates are still incredibly low. The “Sorting it Out” report recently found that as few as 5.3% of victims were reporting domestic violence to Police.
It is inspiring to see people come together to create a movement that tells Australians the abuse happening in so many relationships isn’t okay and tells victims and survivors that we believe them and support them. It is horrifying that research shows as many as one in three people in LGBTIQ+ communities have experienced intimate partner violence, in their current or previous relationship. We must draw attention to it so we can work together to ensure members of the LGBTIQ+ communities can be safe and live free of violence.Maria Hagias, Women’s Safety Services SA CEO
There are many ways you can get involved and help raise awareness of DV in LGBTIQ+ relationships and show LGBTIQ+ victims and survivors that they are seen, that they are supported and that they are believed.
- Download the resource kit
- Add a banner to your facebook page
- Use the facebook profile picture frame
- Share the social media poster
- Take a photo or video and post it to your socials
- Tag @LGBTI.DV.Awareness.Day on Instagram and Facebook
- Use the hashtag #ImHereForYou and include a messages of support for LGBTIQ+ victims and survivors of DV
- Get your workplace involved or just be a part of it from the comfort of your own home!
#ImHereForYou if you need someone to talk to
#ImHereForYou to help stamp out domestic violence because everyone deserves a life free from violence and abuse.
#ImHereForYou if you need support
#ImHereForYou to help bring awareness to domestic violence in LGBTI communities
#ImHereForYou to ensure that not one victim or survivor feels invisible
#ImHereForYou and I believe you
#ImHereForYou to advocate for better services