LGBTQ DV charity hosts Brisbane black-tie gala for a cause

Composite image of Ben Bjarnesen speaking and the Light up the Night Gala
Composite image. Images: courtesy of LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation

The LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation’s annual black-tie Light Up the Night Gala is returning to unite people around an important cause this May.

Queensland campaigner Ben Bjarnesen (above inset), founded the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation in 2020.

The charity’s mission is to improve awareness of domestic, family and intimate partner violence and abuse within LGBTQ+ communities.

Each year, the Foundation recognises May 28 as LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day. For a third year, the charity’s glitzy Light Up the Night event will return to Brisbane City Hall.

Allies, community groups, business leaders, lawmakers and philanthropists will come together at the May 17 gala to support the important cause.

Ben Bjarnesen, a domestic violence survivor himself, and the Foundation’s work provides education, information and resources to the community.

“We want to see a future where everyone, regardless of their gender or sexuality, has access to the right safe, inclusive and equal domestic and family violence support at the right time,” Ben explained.

“Ultimately, we want to see an end to family, domestic and sexual violence in our communities.”

Tickets to the Light Up The Night Gala are on sale now.

DV Awareness Foundation makes Mardi Gras debut

Earlier this month, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation joined the Mardi Gras Parade for the first time.

The Parade was just days after the alleged murders of gay couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies by police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon.

Ben said the couple’s deaths were a “shocking and unimaginable” tragedy. He said domestic violence crime occurs at a disproportionately higher rate in LGBTQ+ communities but is underreported.

The insidious issue doesn’t discriminate and has “remained hidden in our communities for far too long,” Ben warned.

“Sadly, LGBTQ+ people are less likely to identify domestic or family violence in their relationships, less likely to report it to the police or seek support from services, and are far less likely to find support services that meet their specific needs,” he told us ahead of Mardi Gras.

“We are losing too many lives and too many others are suffering in silence.

“Any LGBTQ+ person who’s experiencing violence in a personal or family relationship… need to know that they are seen, believed and there are people and organisations who can support them.”

Visit the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation website to find out more.

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. Chat online via their website, or text 0458 737 732.

Find out more:

LGBTQ DV Awareness Foundation to make Mardi Gras Parade debut

Survivor shares her story for LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day

Experiencing domestic violence? Please, pick up the phone

Ben Bjarnesen among Qld’s Australian of the Year nominees

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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