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Relationship & Family Violence

WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP AND FAMILY VIOLENCE?
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The core feature of any type of relationship violence is the use of the coercive control or tactics of abuse within the relationship. Coercive control may manifest in many different ways unique to the specific relationship. The purpose of someone engaging in this behaviour is to exert a degree of power and control within the relationship and over their loved one. For the person on the receiving end of this abusive behaviour, it can be very confusing and even shaming of them; they may still love the person using abusive behaviours and not be sure what to do? They just want the abuse to stop.

What we know from research is that LGBTIQ people are generally not aware they may be experiencing violence in their significant relationships, and they may delay seeking help. They often may not know or trust police or services for fear of being judged - or worse, not being believed.

There is a lack of mainstream services that have the capacity to appropriately respond to LGBTIQ people who need to address their risk of intimate partner and family violence.

We would encourage anyone at risk of intimate partner of family violence to reach out for support by checking the available resources listed below.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
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Some of the common types of violence that LGBTIQ people experience may include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Emotional and Psychological Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Social Abuse

Examples of Relationship Violence may look like:

  • Using someone’s HIV status threatening to ‘out’ them to family, friends or employers
  • Gaslighting – making someone doubt there own version of events, making the victim out to be a liar or worse have a mental health concern
  • Not respecting a person right to say ‘No’ to sex or not respecting ‘safe’ words
  • Controlling someone’s access to medications
  • Pressuring them to conform to sex or gender norms

WHAT CAN I DO?
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If you think you are experiencing relationship or family violence there are a few key steps you can take to seek support. Consider discussing what is happening with a trusted friend or family member, including someone from your family of choice. Sometimes experiencing relationship violence can lead to the feelings of isolation. Breaking this isolation can aid the individual to self- assess what they may want to do next?

You may feel that reaching out to those who know you is too exposing and potentially may increase your risk. If this is the case then there are many online resources and telephone support services you can contact anonymously to help you in seeking the right support. If you are feeling very unsafe in your current relationship you may need to contact the Police for an immediate response.

Always call 000 if you need Police assistance concerning immediate or high risk relationship violence situations concerning relationship or family violence.

Self Assessment and Information Link - http://www.dvrcv.org.au/lgbtiq

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria (DVRCV) is a state-wide resource centre working to prevent and respond to family violence, with a particular on intimate partner violence.

DVRCV provide training, publications, research and other resources to those experiencing (or who have experienced) family violence, and practitioners and service organisations who work with family violence survivors.

DVRCV are a non-profit organisation, supported by the Department of Human Services, Victoria, Australia.

WHO CAN HELP PEOPLE EXPERIENCING RELATIONSHIP OR FAMILY VIOLENCE?
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  • VAC – (03) 9865 6700
    We provide counselling services to LGBTI communities and we also provide Family Violence Flexible Support Packages for those who are considering leaving or have recently left a relationship violence circumstance. Referrals can also be made via flexi-packages@vac.org.au
  • drummond street services - (03) 9663 6733
    9AM-5PM, this service provides a variety of counselling services options to the LGBTIQ community. ds.org.au
  • Safesteps – 1800 015 188
    24/7 helpline for LGBTIQA victims of relationship or family violence. www.safesteps.org.au
  • Switchboard/ QLife – 1800 184 527
    Also offering Webchat 3PM-12AM everyday www.switchboard.org.au, Switchboard is staffed by volunteer counsellors and peers who can direct you to the right supports.
  • Mensline – 1300 78 99 78 24/7 www.mensline.org.au
  • Victims of Crime – 1800 819 817 (or text 0427 767 891)
    Available 8AM–11PM daily, for male victims of relationship violence. You can also email vsa@justice.vic.gov.au.
  • Trans Gender Victoria – (03) 9020 4642
    For information about how to connect with appropriated supports for the trans and gender diverse communities.
  • The Police- call - 000
    Especially the LGBTIQ Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLO). If you contact police, ask to speak to a GLLO if possible. General GLLO phone messages (03) 9247 6944 and email GLLOCOORDINATOR-OPS-OIC@police.vic.gov.au are monitored during business hours. Messages and emails received out of business hours are responded to on the next business day.

WHO CAN HELP PEOPLE USING RELATIONSHIP OR FAMILY VIOLENCE?
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  • VAC – (03) 9865 6700
    We provide counselling services to LGBTI communities and we also run the ReVisioning Men’s Behaviour Change Program that offers a group based program to same sex and same gender attracted men who use violence. Referrals into ReVisioning can also be made via revisioning@vac.org.au.
  • drummond street services - (03) 9663 6733
    9AM-5PM, this service provides a variety of counselling services options to the LGBTIQ community. ds.org.au
  • Switchboard/ QLife – 1800 184 527
    Also offering Webchat 3PM-12AM everyday www.switchboard.org.au, Switchboard is staffed by volunteer counsellors and peers who can direct you to the right supports.
  • Men’s Referral Service1300 766 491
    From 9.00am -9.00pm, for men who are using relationship or family violence. Men’s Referral Service also provides ‘Live chat.'
  • The Police - Call 000
    The LGBTIQ Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLO) are also a valuable resource to aid in supporting you to interact with mainstream police support should you feel uncertain about having direct contact with police; if you contact police ask to speak to a GLLO if possible.

    General GLLO phone messages (03) 9247 6944 and email GLLOCOORDINATOR-OPS-OIC@police.vic.gov.au are monitored during business hours. Messages and emails received out of business hours are responded to on the next business day.
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