Flood of support for first LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day


lgbti domestic violence awareness day urzila carlson benjamin law quentin bryce
Photos: Facebook/Supplied

Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate, so this Thursday (May 28) is Australia’s inaugural LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

The initiative aims shine a light on the high levels of domestic violence within Australian LGBTI relationships but low levels of reporting.

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Ben Bjarnesen, Queensland Police officer, DVConnect board member, and domestic violence survivor, founded the LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day to raise awareness and help victims.

“We’re in this fight to stamp out domestic violence of every kind throughout Australia,” he said.

“Part of that fight is to raise awareness and improve support for those suffering from domestic violence within LGBTI communities.

“COVID-19 is compounding the effects of domestic violence on victims. It’s more crucial than ever before that we stand together to bring about change.

“It’s time to speak up, remove the stigma and show those suffering from domestic violence and the survivors, that you support them by spreading the words #ImHereForYou.”

‘We can’t afford one invisible victim in our community’

Celebrities, support workers, politicians and advocates across the country have thrown their support behind LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

Wendell Rosevear from Brisbane’s Stonewall Medical Centre said he and his team are always there to assist anyone experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

“I’m really keen to use the #ImHereForYou campaign to say, let’s be there and provide safe places for people,” he said.

“We can’t afford one invisible victim in our community. Let’s find ways to value each other to prevent abuse and heal abuse.

“It’s a real tragedy that people who set out on a journey to love each other could end up not valuing each other, controlling each other, being violent to each other.

“We need to find ways to say, how can we value ourselves and value each other? To me, abuse is the absence of love. Healing and prevention comes from restoring love.”

Former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce also threw her support behind the day.

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“Each one of us must ask ourselves, ‘What can I do to help this urgent cause in my workplace, at home, in my sporting club, at my school, in my neighbourhood?'” she said.

“We must never back away from our ambition of zero tolerance.”

If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic and family violence:

In an emergency call Triple Zero (000) and ask for the police.
Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), the National Sexual Assault Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service.
Call QLife on 1800 184 527 3pm – midnight. QLife provides anonymous and free LGBTI peer support and referral for people in Australia wanting to talk about sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.

Visit the LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day website for a comprehensive list of support services.

See some of the messages of support for LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day below:

 

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A message from The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO – “Congratulations to our LGBTI community on creating a special day, 28 May to raise awareness about the vitally important work that must be done by every one to prevent domestic and family violence. Each one of us must ask ourselves ‘what can I, me, myself do to help this urgent cause; in my workplace, at home, in my sporting club, at my school, in my neighbourhood….’. We must never back away from our ambition of zero tolerance.” 🏳️‍🌈 #ImHereForYou . . . . . . #LGBTIDVAwarenessDay #NotNowNotEverTogether #NotNowNotEver #EndDV #EndDFV #DVPreventionMonth #DVAwareness #DomesticViolencePreventionMonth #DomesticViolenceAwareness #LGBT #LGBTI #LGBTIQ

A post shared by LGBTI DV Awareness Day (@lgbti.dv.awareness.day) on

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