Federal Labor makes election pledge on LGBTIQ domestic violence


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Federal Labor has pledged additional funding to support LGBTIQ+ people affected by domestic violence if elected to government.

The party previously committed to funding 500 new community sector workers across the domestic and family violence sector if elected.

On Thursday, Labor has confirmed 15 of those workers will work in LGBTIQ+ community organisations to help people experiencing domestic and family violence.

“This means 1,200 people who would have been turned away will now get help at one of the most vulnerable times in their life,” Labor said in a statement.

“LGBTIQ+ people face diverse complexities of gender and violence which are best addressed through community-based and peer-led organisations already working with LGBTIQ+ people.”

Labor’s Shadow Families and Social Services Minister Linda Burney made the announcement on Thursday, alongside Senator Jenny McAllister, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Communities and the Prevention of Family Violence.

The two MPs said under the current government, people fleeing violence are “turned away from accommodation and services because of insufficient funding for sector workers.”

“The shortfall in support is particularly acute for LGBTIQ+ people,” they said.

“Leaving a violent family or relationship is the hardest and most dangerous thing many people will ever do.

“It is even harder when there are further barriers to access services or needs that are not well understood.”

Domestic violence services ‘overwhelmed by demand’

Senator Jenny McAllister said in Victoria, support service Switchboard assists LGBTIQ+ people experiencing violence, through its Rainbow Door support service.

“They told us that ten minutes before their DV service, Rainbow Door opened, they received their first call,” she tweeted.

“And ever since they’ve been overwhelmed by the demand.

“Peer-led organisations like them play important and unique roles in supporting the LGBTIQ+ community. Their leadership in invaluable and should be resourced.”

LGBTIQ+ people less likely to seek help

La Trobe University’s Private Lives 3 study was published last year. It found six in 10 respondents reported an intimate partner had abused them.

And more than six in 10 reported they had been abused by a family member, most commonly a parent.

However, LGBTIQ+ people are typically less likely to identify and seek help for unhealthy relationship patterns.

Prevention advocates stress domestic and family violence can impact everyone, regardless of gender or sexuality and support is available.

If you or somebody you know needs support, contact the National Domestic Violence Service on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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