Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic and Family Violence

We’re here to help LGBTI people who have experienced domestic and family violence.

Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic Violence Basics

Domestic and family violence (DFV) is any type of behaviour used to gain and maintain control over an intimate partner, ex-partner, family member (including chosen family), carers or member of the same household.

Domestic and family violence is not just physical but can take many forms including:

  • Sexual
  • Emotional or psychological
  • Social
  • Financial
  • Verbal
  • Stalking and harassment


DFV in LGBTI relationships:

Recent research suggests that 1 in 3 LGBTI people have experienced domestic and family violence. This means that LGBTI people are just as likely as non LGBTI women to experience DFV, but are less likely to find support services that meet their specific needs.

Abuse in LGBTI relationships has the same elements as all abusive relationships, but there are some unique differences for LGBTI people:

  • Using someone’s intersex status, sexuality, gender, gender expression, transgender or HIV status against them.
  • Threatening to ‘out’ someone to their family, friends, community or workplace. Outing can include someone’s gender, sexuality, intersex status or HIV status
  • Controlling someone’s medications, access to gender transition related healthcare, or pressuring them to conform to sex or gender “norms”
  • Confidentiality and lack of appropriate language to discuss abuse in LGBTI communities/relationships,
  • A lack of mainstream services that address the needs of LGBTI people, such as safe housing services for male victims, supports for female perpetrators, transgender and intersex inclusive services
  • A fear of lack of understanding, minimisation and/or discrimination from police and service providers
  • Fear around differing legal rights over children and assets


ACON provides confidential, fee-based counselling (up to 12 sessions) for LGBTI people experiencing domestic and family violence. Fees for this service are negotiated according to individual circumstances, and priority is given to people on low incomes or with limited options.
To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.
To make an inquiry call ACON on 9206 2000 during office hours.


ACON’s Domestic and Family Violence Strategy


L-R. ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill, The Hon Pru Goward, NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and ACON President Mark Orr

Our Domestic & Family Violence Strategy was launched by the Hon Pru Goward, NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, in September 2015. The minister also announced a grant of $115,000 for ACON to deliver a primary prevention campaign to increase awareness of healthy relationships among lesbians and to identify the early signs of DFV in the broader LGBTI community.

The strategy provides the framework for our work in relation to LGBTI Domestic and Family Violence over the next three years.

Click here to read our Domestic and Family Violence Strategy 2015 – 2018


Another Closet (2015)
The LGBTIQ Domestic Violence Interagency has produced a resource titled Another Closet for LGBTIQ people who may be experiencing domestic or family violence. It also has information for people supporting an LGBTIQ friend or family member who is experiencing abuse, contains information on what domestic violence is, what to do if you are experiencing abuse, tips for making a safety plan, information for how to support a friend or family member and the details for some referral services in NSW.
Find out more here

One Size Does Not Fit All (2011)
ACON’s gap analysis of NSW domestic violence support services in relation to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities’ needs.
One Size Does Not Fit All

ACON’s Domestic and Family Violence Strategy
Click here to download

Calling it What it Really is (2015)
A report into lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse, intersex and queer experiences of domestic and family violence
Click here to download


Domestic and Family Violence Support Services

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please contact your nearest ACON office or to enquire about making an appointment click here.

In an emergency always call 000
Police Assistance line: 131 444

To report DFV you can talk to any police officer. You can also ask to speak with a Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO) or a LGBTI Liaison Officer (known as GLLO). People can try to contact a GLLO directly but some stations don’t have GLLOs and GLLOs and DVLOs are not available 24/7 but general police are.

1800RESPECT Helpline
Information and support for anyone in Australia experiencing DFV or sexual assault, 24 hours/day, 7 days/ week. The website has an LGBTIQ specific information section.
1800 737 732

NSW Domestic Violence Line
Information, telephone support and referrals for LGBTI people who are victims of DFV, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week
1800 656 463

NSW Victims Services
Confidential support, free counselling, financial assistance, referral and information for all victims of DFV in NSW.
1800 633 063, Aboriginal Line: 1800 019 123

Australian wide telephone counselling (6 sessions) and referrals for men (GBTI inclusive).
1300 789 978

National crisis and suicide prevention telephone counselling, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
13 11 14

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (known as Aboriginal medical services/AMS)
ACCHS are health services initiated by Aboriginal people, based in a local Aboriginal community, which delivers a wholistic and culturally appropriate health service. To find the contact details of your nearest service visit: pages/contact.aspx

Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Service
Legal advice and support for a range of issues, including DFV. For all women LBTI inclusive.
1800 686 587


LGBTIQ Specific Services

These services are only available to call during office hours, unless otherwise specified.

LGBTI health organisation offering information, referrals, counselling, advocacy and practical support for LGBTI people in NSW experiencing DFV.
(02) 9206 2000

Inner City Legal Centre, Safe Relationships Project
Free legal advice and court support for LGBTIQ people experiencing DFV in NSW.
(02) 9332 1966

Free telephone and web based counselling, referrals and support for LGBTI people and their families.
3pm – 12am every day.
1800 184 527

Provide a wide range of support services across New South Wales supporting people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities, their families and communities, including specialised services for young people (12-26), such as case management, counselling and supported accommodation. As well as information, referral and support for all ages.
(02) 8594 9555, rural free call: 1800 65 2010

The Gender Centre
Provides services such as counselling, accommodation, outreach and support for transgender, gender queer and gender questioning people in NSW.
(02) 9569 2366

OII Australia – Intersex Australia
Provides information, education and peer support for intersex people nation-wide.

Another Closet
For information and referral details on LGBTIQ domestic and family violence.