Domestic & Family Violence

We’re here to help LGBTQ+ people who have experienced domestic and family violence by providing a range of resources and support services.

Check out our domestic & family violence website Say It Out Loud.


Domestic & Family Violence Basics

DFV_LGBTIQ_shutterstock_0Domestic 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

1 in 3 LGBTI people experience violence from a partner, ex-partner or family member.

This means that LGBTI people are just as likely as people in the general population to experience DFV.

However, research shows that LGBTI people 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


Report An Incident

policeIf it’s an emergency always call Triple Zero (000). If it’s not urgent, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. You can also make an anonymous call without giving your name by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Domestic Violence Liaison officers (DVLOs) have special training in working with people who are experiencing domestic and family violence. Most police stations have a DVLO. For more information click here.

Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) are specially trained to address LGBTI issues. For more information on GLLOs, click here.

If you’re not happy with the service you have received from the police, the NSW Police Force has an internal complaints process. For more information please visit the NSW Police website.

We can help you report an incident to police. For more information, please contact your nearest ACON office.


Domestic & Family Violence Resources

Untitled-1Another 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.

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

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

Bring Violence Out Of The Closet
Bring Violence Out of the Closet is a print resource was produced by the NSW Police to assist the LGBTI community to report domestic and family violence. It provides an outline of what to expect when you make a report to the police, clarifies key roles and offers details of referrals for additional support.

LGBTI Domestic Violence Toolkit
The LGBTI Domestic Violence Toolkit is a resource for agencies and service providers supporting LGBTI victims of domestic violence and their families.

ACON Domestic And Family Violence Strategy
Click here to download

‘Developing Programs for Perpetrators and Victims/Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence’ Report

Developing Programs for Perpetrators and Victims/Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence is a report has been published by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), stemming from a collaborative research project between ACON and Relationships Australia NSW. It looks at the experiences of LGBTQ DFV perpetrators, victims and survivors to help improve understanding of DFV among mainstream support organisations and service providers.

Read the report here.

Sexual, Domestic and Family Violence Support

ACON provides specialist Care Coordination & Counselling support, information and referral services to LGBTQ+ people who have experienced sexual, domestic and family violence or have had increased risk to their safety during the COVID period.  This is a short-term service that helps people to access the necessary supports and services to build safety and improve their mental and physical wellbeing, including health, social, financial and legal support services.  

This service is offered face to face in Sydney. It is also available via telehealth for people living in Sydney or across regional NSW. 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please complete the Online Intake Form or contact your nearest ACON office. 

This service is funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice. 

LGBTQ+ Counselling and Support


We provide low-cost confidential short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for sexuality and gender diverse people aged 18 years or older seeking support for their mental health and wellbeing.  

Fully qualified volunteer counsellors in Sydney use a solution focused model and a range of other therapeutic approaches to support people to manage life’s challenges. We also provide a limited number of places with our employed counsellors in the regional offices. 

This service is a low-cost option prioritised for people seeking counselling support who are not eligible for Medicare or have limited resources to access private options. Fees for this service are negotiated according to individual circumstances. 

LGBTQ+ counselling is available via telehealth or in person (in Surry Hills) on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For appointment options in regional NSW please contact the relevant office.  

This service is not suitable for: 

  • People who use violence 
  • People with unmanaged mental illness 
  • People concerned about their substance use 

For more information or to undertake a brief intake assessment, please complete the Online Intake Form or contact your nearest ACON office. 

This service is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health and income generated through fees. 

Domestic & Family Violence Support Services

Supporting-gay-marriage-bre_connie1 (1)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 Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia
24/7 telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone in NSW – men and women – who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault and their non offending supporters.
1800 424 017

RSPCA – Safe Beds for Pets
Provides temporary safe housing for pets of LGBTIQ people who are escaping domestic violence.
(02) 9782 4408

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.

Legal Advice

clcCommunity Legal Centres (CLC) provide free legal advice, referrals and some representation to people who live and work in their area.

Community Legal Centres NSW: (02) 9212 7333


Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) provides a state-wide specialist free legal advice service for anyone who identifies as LGBTIQ throughout NSW.

(02) 9332 1966