About violence in the LGBTQI+ community

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About violence in the LGBTQI+ community

- Most LGBTIQ+ relationships are based on love and respect. But some are based on abuse and control.

- There are a number of aspects that are unique to LGBTIQ+ domestic and family violence.

- Finding sensitive and non-judgmental support is crucial.

- We will provide flexible counselling to suit your particular needs as best as we can.

Note: On this website we use the acronym LGBTIQ+ to refer collectively and inclusively to people of diverse sexualities and genders, and intersex people. This includes people who may or may not identify as LGBTIQ or as being in an exclusively same-sex, bisexual, pansexual or heterosexual relationship.

Our services

Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia has partnered with ACON to ensure our counsellors have received training regarding the unique needs and experiences of LGBTIQ+ people and communities as it relates to sexual, domestic and family violence.

Link to ACON website

We are proud to be seen as an inclusive service provider by ACON for people who are LGBTIQ+.

LGBTIQ+ domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence in LGBTIQ+ and cisgender heterosexual relationships share many similarities, including the types of abuse and the impact on the abused partner.

Read more about domestic and family violence on these pages:

Types of domestic and family violence

Signs of domestic and family violence

However there are a number of aspects that are unique to LGBTIQ+ domestic and family violence.

Historically, there has been little information or discussion in LGBTIQ+ communities about sexual, domestic and family violence in relationships. Most information on domestic and family violence relates to cisgender heterosexual relationships with the man as the perpetrator.

“People who identify as LGBTQI+ experience domestic and family violence at similar rates to that of the wider community but are less likely to identify the experience as abuse, report violence to the police, or seek assistance from a domestic and family violence support organisation for fear of prejudice and discrimination.

“Sometimes, services may not understand the needs of a LGBTIQ person or the nature of their relationship, or support workers may have preconceived ideas about the diversity of sex [intersex], sexuality, gender or family.”

It Stops Here, NSW government domestic and family violence policy

Outing as a method of control

If someone has not disclosed their sexuality, gender (identity, history or expression), intersex or HIV status to their family, friends, workmates or their cultural community the perpetrator of violence may use ‘outing’ or the threat of ‘outing’ as a method of control.

An abuser may also use their sexuality or gender against them, shaming their identity or telling them that no one will help them because they are LGBTIQ+.

Societal stigmas

If an LGBTIQ+ person has been sexually assaulted, they often find it difficult to overcome societal stigmas around LGBTIQ+ sexualities and sexual practices and so finding sensitive and non-judgmental support is crucial.

Isolation and community

The relatively small size and close-knit nature of LGBTIQ+ communities, especially in smaller cities and rural, regional and remote areas, may make it difficult for an abused person to seek help as confidentiality and anonymity is harder in smaller communities. There are far fewer services which are set-up to support gay and transgender men and non-binary people.

An abusive partner may isolate the other from contact with the LGBTIQ+ community by preventing them from reading the LGBTIQ+ community media, attending LGBTIQ+ venues or events or seeing friends from within the community.

This is especially true for people in their first LGBTIQ+ relationship, as they may not have had much contact with the LGBTIQ+ community before the relationship began. Many LGBTIQ+ people experience family violence or rejection from family because of their sexuality and/or gender, making the LGBTIQ+ community an important avenue for support.

Mistrust of police and agencies

Many people in the LGBTIQ+ community have a mistrust of police and other government agencies because of previous negative or traumatic experiences either in Australia or in another country.

Finding support

To find a support service that promotes inclusion for the LGBTIQ+ community, go to this page:

Get in touch:

NSW Rape Crisis
For anyone in NSW impacted by sexual assault (including friends, families and supporters). Available 24/7.
Sexual Assault Counselling Australia
For adult survivors of childhood institutional sexual abuse. Supporting anyone accessing the Redress Scheme and alternative compensation. Available 24/7.
Domestic Violence Impact Line
For anyone in Australia whose life has been impacted by domestic or family violence. Available 24/7.
LGBTIQ+ Violence Service
For anyone from the LGBTIQ+ community whose life has been impacted by sexual domestic and/or family violence. Available 24/7.
Online counselling
Online counselling is also available 24/7.