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 sexual, domestic and family violence.
“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.”
The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing Acting CEO, Kedy Kristal: “The Centre for Women’s Safety and Wellbeing is proud to partner with ACON and other state DFV services to promote the Say it Out Loud website. It’s a fabulous resource that supports and strengthens LGBTQ relationships across Australia.”
Sexual Assault Support Service CEO, Jill Maxwell: “As a small regional state Tasmania will greatly benefit from having this central website. The Say It Out Loud website is a great way of providing information and support, but also normalising healthy relationships, and destigmatising sexuality and relationships within marginalised groups. Tasmania knows what it feels like to be the odd one out, and we would never want anyone to feel excluded from any conversation about sexual safety. One of our aims is to ensure that everyone knows that we all have the right to feel safe, all of the time.”
YWCA Australia National Service Development and Delivery Director, Shannon Wright: “The Say It Out Loud project is incredibly important and will impact LGBTQ communities across the Northern Territory experiencing SDFV and those wanting further information on healthy relationships. As an evolving intersectional feminist organisation YWCA Australia is extremely proud and honoured to work in partnership with so many passionate organisations, where we all bring our expertise together to amplify the impact for LGBTQ communities. Our work in communities directly benefits from these relationships and shared vision we are very excited for our journey together”
DVConnect CEO, Beck O’Connor: “DVConnect is incredibly proud to partner with ACON and other specialist domestic, family and intimate partner violence services nationally because there is significant apprehension within LGBTIQ+ communities to ever contact mainstream services for support and we need to change that.”
Women’s Safety Services SA CEO, Maria Hagias: “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.”
The Domestic Violence Crisis Service interim General Manager, Glenda Stevens: “The Say It Out Loud website pulls a lot of information together, making it easier for people to access information relevant to their needs. The website promotes positive relationships as well as providing vital information to people who might be subjected to violence within their relationships, use violence or are worried about a friend or loved one.”
Kara House, Specialist Family Violence Practitioner Katie McNally: “Kara House is excited to be a part of a national partnership delivering information and referral pathways which will improve the experience of LGBTIQ community members accessing services. The Say It Out Loud project is providing a national integrated information point for resources for both LGBTIQ community and the services supporting them and is accessible to community no matter their location. Being a partner in the project has also enabled Kara House to access training and support to improve inclusive practice and provided the opportunity to network with state and national services to share knowledge and resources”.
Thorne Harbour Health Director of Services, Carolyn Gillespie:
“This national website will bring significant benefits to our LGBTIQ communities. As a one-stop shop for support and information related to healthy relationships, as well as family violence and sexual assault, the site simplifies the often complex process of connecting to safe support and getting help for LGBTIQ community members. The information available on the site is written for and by community and celebrates the diversity and strength of healthy and supportive LGBTIQ relationships – and, importantly, how to get help when a relationship is not safe.”
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES
ACON | David Alexander, Media and Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org
WCDFVS | Kedy Kristal, CEO | Kedykristal@womenscouncil.com.au
SASS | Laura Davis, Primary Prevention Educator | Laura.Davis@sass.org.au
YWCA | Shannon Wright, Director, National Service Development and Delivery | email@example.com
DVConnect | Beck O’Connor, CEO | firstname.lastname@example.org
WSSSA | Mergho Ray, Manager Integrated Programs | email@example.com
DVCS | Alanna Davis, Community Development and Engagement Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kara House | Katie McNally, Specialist Family Violence Practitioner | email@example.com
Thorne Harbour Health | Caleb Hawk, Communications Manager | firstname.lastname@example.org
ACON encourages the use of the Australian Press Council’s Advisory Guideline for Reporting on persons with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.