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Family Violence Services

WHAT IS FAMILY VIOLENCE?
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The main feature of any type of relationship violence is the use of the 'coercive control' or tactics of abuse within the relationship. Coercive control may look different from relationship to relationship. The reason someone uses this behaviour is to gain 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 can feel shameful; they may still love the person using abusive behaviour and be unsure how to respond - they often just want the abuse to stop.

What we know from research is that LGBTIQ+ people are often unaware they are experiencing violence in their relationships, and they may delay seeking help. They often don't know where to find help and mistrust police services for fear of being judged - or worse, not being believed.

However, there are many incredible, supportive services run by community, for community. We would encourage anyone at risk of intimate partner or family violence to reach out for support by checking the available resources listed under the 'Who Can Help' tab on this page.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
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Some of the common types of violence that LGBTIQ+ people experience 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 by 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 implying they have a mental health concern
  • Not respecting a person's 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 feelings of isolation. Talking with friends and family can help you figure out your next steps.

You may feel reaching out to people you know is too risky. 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. These are listed below. 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.

WHO CAN HELP PEOPLE EXPERIENCING FAMILY VIOLENCE?
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  • Thorne Harbour Health – (03) 9865 6700

We provide counselling services to LGBTIQ+ people and support for those who want to leave or have recently left a violent relationship.

  • Safe and Equal

A service providing training and research for service organisations who work with family violence survivors. NOTE that safe and equal does not provide direct support for people experiencing family violence. safeandequal.org.au

  • Drummond Street Services - (03) 9663 673

9AM-5PM, this service has many counselling options for LGBTIQ+ communities. ds.org.au

  • Rainbow Door - 1800 729 367

10AM-5PM, a free service for all Victorian LGBTIQA+ people and their friends and family. You can call, text (0480 017 246) or email Rainbow Door for information, advice and support. rainbowdoor.org.au/getsupport

  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line - 1800 806 292

State-wide 24 hour support for past and recent sexual assault. Immediate crisis response available for recent sexual assault (last 2 weeks). This number diverts to your local Centre Against Sexual Assault during normal business hours. sacl.com.au

  • Safesteps – 1800 015 188

24/7 helpline for LGBTIQ+ victims of relationship or family violence. safesteps.org.au

  • Switchboard/ QLife – 1800 184 527

Switchboard is staffed by volunteer counsellors and peers who can direct you to the right supports. Also offering Webchat 3PM-12AM everyday at switchboard.org.au

  • Mensline – 1300 78 99 78 24/7

Online and over the phone counselling for Australian men (including GBTIQ+ men). mensline.org.au

  • Victims of Crime – 1800 819 817 (or text 0427 767 891)

Available 8AM–11PM daily, for any victims of relationship violence or any other violent crime. You can also email vsa@justice.vic.gov.au.

  • Trans Gender Victoria – (03) 9020 4642

For information about how to connect with supports for trans and gender diverse people.

  • The Police - 000

If you contact police ask if it's possible to speak to an LGBTIQ+ Liasion Officer (LLO). The LLO can help you talk to mainstream police if you feel uncertain about having direct contact with police. General LLO emails are monitored during business hours LLO-Coordinator-MGR@police.vic.gov.au. 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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  • Thorne Harbour Health – (03) 9865 6700

We provide counselling services to LGBTIQ+ 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@thorneharbour.org.

  • Drummond Street Services - (03) 9663 6733

9AM-5PM, this service provides a variety of counselling services options for LGBTIQ+ communities, including people who use violence. ds.org.au

  • Switchboard/ QLife – 1800 184 527

Also offering Webchat 3PM-12AM everyday 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 9AM-9PM, for men who are using relationship or family violence. Men’s Referral Service also provides ‘Live Chat.'

  • The Police - Call 000

If you contact police ask if it's possible to speak to an LGBTIQ+ Liasion Officer (LLO). The LLO can help you talk to mainstream police if you feel uncertain about having direct contact with police. General LLO emails are monitored during business hours LLO-Coordinator-MGR@police.vic.gov.au. Emails received out of business hours are responded to on the next business day.

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