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
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:
- Emotional or psychological
- 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
If 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
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.
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.
LGBTQ+ Counselling and Support
We provide confidential fee-based short-term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for LGBTQ+ people seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Volunteer counsellors use a solution focused model and a range of therapeutic approaches to better equip people to deal with life’s challenges.
Fees for this service are negotiated according to individual circumstances, and priority is given to people on low incomes or with limited options.
LGBTQ+ counselling in Sydney is available Tues and Thurs evenings. For appointment options in regional NSW please contact the relevant office.
Unfortunately, this service is not suitable for:
- People who use violence
- People with unmanaged or unsupported mental illness or substance use
To access this service, you will need to undergo a brief assessment in person or over the phone.
For more information or to undertake a brief assessment please contact your nearest ACON office or submit an enquiry.
If you are experiencing prejudice related violence or harassment here are some options for counselling and support:
- ACON provides counselling as well as social work support to help people resolve complex or ongoing violence and harassment matters. Call 9206 2000 to make an appointment.
- QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships. For more information click here.
- ICLC can provide legal support such as assistance with preparing an Apprehended Personal Violence Order. For more information click here.
- Lifeline provides 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services to all Australians experiencing a personal crisis. For more information click here.
Domestic & 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.
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:
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.
For information and referral details on LGBTIQ domestic and family violence.
Community 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