QPS support LGBTIQ+ community to stand up to domestic and family violence

Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen delivered the keynote address at this years Pride in Law breakfast

The Queensland Government has re-asserted its commitment to ending domestic and family violence in the LGBTIQ+ community today.

Speaking at the Pride in Law breakfast event today, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said heightening awareness in the community of intimate partner violence was crucial to removing the stigma that existed around reporting and seeking help.

“The work that Pride in Law does to support and advocate for LGBTIQ people affected by domestic and family violence is incredibly important”, she said.

“Domestic and family violence affects all genders and all communities, but it isn’t always recognised in LGBTIQ+ relationships.

“There are features of domestic and family violence that are unique to these relationships – for example, a perpetrator may threaten to ‘out’ their partner to family, friends, or coworkers, or may deliberately use the wrong gender pronouns or name to hurt them.”

Ms Farmer said Recommendation 14 of the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report clearly identified the need to address domestic and family violence in the LGBTIQ+ community.

“In response, the Queensland Government invested $57,000 in the development and distribution of resources through a state-wide campaign and service provider training through the Queensland AIDS Council,” she said.

“Victims need to know they are believed, they are understood, and they are able to seek support in a safe, inclusive environment.”

This year’s Pride in Law breakfast featured a keynote address from the Queensland Police Service, informing service providers and legal professionals about specific police-led LGBTIQ+ initiatives.

Acting Police Minister and Minister for Corrective Services Craig Crawford said the QPS would continue to ensure that Queenslanders who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex were entitled to the same rights in relationships where abuse had occurred.

“The Queensland Police Service is committed to implementing strategies to combat domestic violence and enable members of LGBTIQ+ communities to confidently seek support from police and other community support agencies,” Mr Crawford said.

“This has included ensuring that LGBTI liaison officers are available throughout Queensland to engage and gain trust in the LGBTIQ+ community.”

He said the QPS continued to demonstrate its commitment to eliminating domestic violence from Queensland communities.

“Queensland Police have been proactive in ensuring that members of the LGBTI community feel comfortable in reporting instances of domestic violence to police,” Mr Crawford said.

“I look forward to continuing to see the service build on the solid foundations they have implemented in preventing DFV and responding to DFV wherever it may occur in the community.”

President and Founder of Pride in Law Dean Clifford-Jones said that while the majority of domestic and family violence in Australia occurred in heterosexual relationships, domestic violence occurred within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer relationships too.

“Similar to all other relationships, LGBTIQ+ relationships are based on respect and love; however, some are also based on abuse and control,” he said.

“Gay men are more than twice as likely to suffer domestic abuse compared to straight men. Further, the LGBTIQ+ community are also far less likely to come forward.”

“The evidence is undeniable – LGBTIQ+ people experience childhood abuse at higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts.

“This abuse often stems from homophobia which is another driver of domestic and family violence in the community.

“First it can be our families and communities that abuse us, then our partners abuse us.

“It can be an unfortunate cycle, which Pride in Law wishes to break.”

Information about local events during Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month can be found here.

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