LGBTQ+ people impacted by sexual, domestic and family violence (SDFV) from across Australia will now have access to relevant, culturally appropriate and state-specific information and resources with the national rollout of the digital support hub, Say It Out Loud.
Produced by ACON, Australia’s largest sexuality and gender diverse health organisation, Say It Out Loud is an online platform on sexual, domestic and family violence designed specifically for LGBTQ+ people. First launched as a NSW specific site in 2017, the resource received funding from the Department of Social Services in 2019 to be expanded nationwide.
The new national website, being launched today to coincide with the final day of the annual campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’, provides comprehensive and inclusive information for LGBTQ+ communities around the country affected by domestic and family violence and sexual assault. It focuses on building healthy relationships and features tips, assessment tools, safety planning measures, videos, personal stories and other support resources.
The national platform has been developed in partnership with a range of specialist sexual assault and domestic violence services in every state and territory, enabling Say It Out Loud to feature state-specific content, information on state legislation, referral and support options, and local events. The organisations are:
- New South Wales: ACON
- Western Australia: The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WCDFVS)
- Tasmania: Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS)
- Northern Territory: YWCA Australia (YWCA)
- Queensland: DVConnect
- South Australia: Women’s Safety Services SA (WSSSA)
- Australian Capital Territory: The Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS)
- Victoria: Kara House and Thorne Harbour Health
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said that the national expansion of Say It Out Loud responds to the need for tailored information and resources on SDFV for LGBTQ+ people across the country.
Up until now, there has been no national website that specifically spoke to LGBTQ+ Australians about their relationships. Our data showed that more than half of Australian visitors to the NSW website were from outside the state, highlighting the need for locally specific information, content and referral links for community members across Australia
We thank the many sexual assault and domestic violence support organisations from around the country for their partnership and collaboration. Their expertise, knowledge and networks in their respective states and territories will provide LGBTQ+ community members with the relevant information and support they need
Parkhill added the partnerships will also help build capacity nationwide to support LGBTQ+ people impacted by SDFV.
While sexual, domestic and family violence is an issue that is gaining prominence, there is still little to no dedicated funding for LGBTQ+ communities to address SDFV in many states and territories.
The partnerships will enable selected organisations to develop the skills, structures and strengths to become better equipped to identify unsafe relationships outside of the predominant heterosexual discourse, create safer pathways for clients, and provide further support for LGBTQ+ communities in culturally appropriate and safer ways
Parkhill also acknowledged the support of Australian Government in the expansion of Say It Out Loud.
We thank the Department of Social Services for funding the national rollout of this vital resource. With the new Say It Out Loud website, we will not only shine a light of SDFV issues in our community on a national scale, we will also be able to further support the strength and resilience of LGBTQ+ people across the country, and thereby improve our collective health and wellbeing
Maria Hagias, WSSSA CEO and Embolden Co-Chair, says:
Women’s Safety Services SA is thrilled to be part of a National partnership to improve responses and services to the LGBTIQ+ communities. As the largest specialized Domestic and Family Violence service in South Australia, we recognize the importance of celebrating all LGBTIQ+ relationships and our continuing learning to support the community when concerns of risk and safety arise