Gay, bi, trans and queer men need access to intimate partner and/or family violence support services – both as the victim-survivors and as the men who use violence.
Up to 1 in 2 LGBTQ people will experience domestic, family and intimate partner violence and abuse in their lifetime, yet victims remain largely invisible with low levels of reporting.
However, GBTQ men have different experiences, needs and concerns than cisgender/heterosexual men, and therefore need to be supported in different ways.
This May 28, on LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, No to Violence invites our community to stand with us as allies and raise awareness about the prevalence and challenges of domestic and family violence in LGBTIQA+ communities.
On LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day – and everyday – No to Violence actively works to ensure that everyone, no matter what their sexuality or gender identity, can feel #SeenAndBelieved – and access the supports they need.
For 30 years, No to Violence has worked directly with men who use family violence or are at risk of using violence.
No to Violence also operates the Men’s Referral Service, a national hotline that offers counselling, referrals, advice and support to men who can be described as having anger, relationship or parenting issues.
Chief Executive Officer Jacqui Watt said “No to Violence values equity, diversity and inclusion and people of all backgrounds. It also values diversity of gender identity, sexual orientation and intersex status.”
Recently No to Violence undertook an 11-month intensive process of cultural change to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation.
No to Violence Diversity and Inclusion Officer Richelle Menzies said the Rainbow Tick framework is designed to “support organisations to improve the quality of care and services they provide to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer service users, staff and volunteers”.
“For No to Violence, Rainbow Tick accreditation means the organisation ensures LGBTIQA+ inclusion for No to Violence staff and consumers.
“But it also means that members of the LGBTIQA+ community can access No to Violence services knowing that it is culturally safe and inclusive, and that No to Violence can refer them to LGBTIQA+ specific services to meet their needs,” they said.
While No to Violence is committed to reducing barriers for GBTIQA+ men to be able to access support services and begin their behaviour change journey, our primary concern is the safety of partners and children.
On 23 May, Jacqui Watt and Richelle Menzies attended the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day launch event.
The event was hosted at Todd Fernando’s office – Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities.
It was an opportunity for LGBTIQA+ and family violence sector leaders to come together and discuss how we can collaborate and work in partnership to end domestic and family violence.
While we are making important strides towards real and tangible progress – the journey is not over.
Quality improvement means continuous and ongoing feedback from consumers, staff and the broader LGBTIQA+ community.
It is only through the entire family violence sector – and broader community – working together that we can realise our vision of a world free from male family violence.
If you are concerned about your behaviour, or about someone using violence, call Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit mrs.org.au for advice and support.