ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill, NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Hon Pru Goward, and ACON President Mark Orr at the launch of ACON’s new Domestic & Family Violence strategy.

The NSW Government will deliver $115,000 in new funding to help tackle domestic and family violence (DFV) in the LGBTI community.

Announced today by NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, the Hon Pru Goward, the funding will support programs and services being delivered by ACON.

Ms Goward also launched ACON’s new DFV strategy which will guide the organisation’s work in relation to DFV over the next three years.

Ms Goward says the funding will allow ACON to engage with the LGBTI community 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.

“Violence in any relationship or in any household is unacceptable,” Ms Goward says. “It’s important that LGBTI people and their families feel safe and supported, and this new funding will help ACON deliver services that will help achieve this outcome.

“ACON’s new strategic plan for its DFV work demonstrates that the organisation is committed to improving the safety of LGBTI people and their families, and the Government looks forward to working with ACON and its partners over the next five years to reduce violence experienced by LGBTI people in relationships and households.”

ACON President Mark Orr says the new funding acknowledges the specific challenges that the LGBTI community faces in relation to DFV. “While DFV in the LGBTI community mirrors the types and levels of DFV in the broader community, there are some unique aspects experienced by LGBTI people,” Mr Orr says.

“DFV in the LGBTI community doesn’t always look the same as in heterosexual relationships, and so LGBTI people don’t always recognise it. Also, the language and framework used around this issue and much of the media publicity also relates to heterosexual relationships, making violence in homosexual relationships invisible. Because of this many LGBTI people suffer in isolation and don’t feel comfortable to report abuse or seek help from support services.”

Mr Orr says for many there is also the added fear for many victims that the abusive partner will ‘out’ them to family, friends, or work colleagues, or reveal their HIV status. He says homophobic violence within families is also major problem. “Due to entrenched homophobia, LGBTI people are often at greater risk than heterosexual people from abuse, harassment and violence from family members such as parents, siblings and children.”

“As a result of stigma and discrimination, many LGBTI people have a fundamental distrust of mainstream services, as well as the police and justice system, and in many cases LGBTI specific services or resources simply don’t exist or aren’t appropriate.”

“Our new DFV strategy aims to address all these issues by ensuring our work over the next three years is evidence based, outcome focussed, and coordinated with our government and community partners. It also details how we will use our strengths in health promotion and social marketing to reduce DFV, increase awareness and reporting, and ensure that LGBTI people experiencing violence have access to appropriate services and support.”

ACON’s Domestic & Family Violence Strategy 2015 -18 is available on the  ACON website.

Media contact: Andrew Hamadanian, ACON Media and Communication Officer
T: (02) 9206 2044   E:  M: 0419 55 768

09-09-2015Funding To Address LGBTI Domestic & Family Violence