Young LGBTIQ people at greatest risk of domestic violence

LGBTQ+ Domestic Violence Awareness Day

LGBTIQ+ Australians under 25 are 4.5 times more likely to be at risk of domestic and family violence than those 25 years and over, according to new research.

Equality Australia and Drummond Street Services’ Centre for Family Research and Evaluation in Victoria have released a research report on domestic and family violence affecting LGBTIQ+ people, titled There’s no safe place at home.

The researchers surveyed 2,631 LGBTIQ+ Australians in April and May 2020 on their experiences.

The report found 12.2% of LGBTIQ+ respondents were at risk of domestic and family violence. This figure is based on their experiences in the last 12 months.

Eight percent currently lived with someone who had been violent, abusive, harassing or controlling towards them in the last 12 months.

Five percent currently lived with someone who they feared would be violent, abusive or controlling towards them.

Trans and gender diverse respondents were also 2.7 times more likely to be at risk.

Families of origin were a significant source of the violence, as well as intimate partners and housemates.

Drummond Street Services has also launched an Australia-wide resource directory of support services for LGBTIQ+ people experiencing domestic and family violence.

Domestic and family violence: For many, homes are not safe places

Equality Australia legal director Ghassan Kasissieh said for many LGBTIQ people “their homes are not safe places.”

“Everyone deserves to feel safe at home, no matter who they are or whom they love,” he said.

“The unacceptable violence experienced by LGBTIQ people, especially those who are young and trans or gender diverse, are often at the hands of those people who are nearest and dearest to them.

“People who should be protecting them.”

Kasissieh said we need to do more to ensure “safe havens are available” for LGBTIQ+ people experiencing violence at home.

Beth McCann from Drummond Street Services said national datasets must properly capture LGBTIQ+ domestic and family violence.

“As part of our national family violence strategy, governments must ensure we collect data on this issue,” McCann said.

“[Governments must] equip services with the training and resources needed to ensure they respond to this issue inclusively and appropriately.”

“It’s time for LGBTIQ+ people to be fully included in the national family violence plan.”

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