Additional information for LGBTIQ+ victim-survivors

Note: The acronym LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer+) is used as an abbreviation to encompass a range of diverse sexualities, genders, and identities.

LGBTIQ+ people and domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence can impact anyone no matter their gender, sexuality, culture, or age. It occurs in every community.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience domestic and family violence at similar rates as the broader community. Transgender and gender diverse people experience higher rates of domestic and family violence than the broader community.

LGBTIQ+ people experience the same forms of domestic and family violence as other victim-survivors. See What is domestic and family violence page for more information.

In addition, abuse in LGBTIQ+ relationships may have some differences:

  • using someone’s intersex status, sexuality, gender, gender expression, transgender or HIV status against them
  • threatening to ‘out’ someone to their family, friends, community or workplace. Outing can include someone’s gender, sexuality, intersex status or HIV status
  • controlling someone’s medications, access to gender transition related healthcare, or pressuring them to conform to sex or gender norms.

Barriers experienced by LGBTIQ+ to reporting or accessing support

There are some common reasons LGBTIQ+ people may not report domestic and family violence or seek assistance from support services, including:

  • disbelief that domestic violence occurs in LGBTIQ+ relationships
  • fear of discrimination by police, health and other services
  • fear of being ‘outed’
  • shame and stigma
  • lack of specialised services for LGBTIQ+ people experiencing domestic violence
  • a lack of mainstream services that address the needs of LGBTIQ+ people, such as safe housing services for male victims, supports for female perpetrators, transgender and intersex inclusive services
  • fear around differing legal rights over children and assets

What should I do if I feel unsafe?

Everyone should feel safe in their relationships. You should be free from violence and all forms of abuse.

If you are concerned about violence or abuse in your relationship, there are services available to help.

If you feel unsafe, the police are there to help you. You can request to speak with a GLLO (LGBTIQ+ Liaison Officer) who provide specialist support to the LGBTIQ+ community.

If police identify that you may be experiencing domestic and family violence, they will refer you to Safer Pathway.

More information about support services can be found under 'Where can I get more information and support?' below.

What is Safer Pathway?

Safer Pathway is a NSW Government program that supports victim-survivors of domestic and family violence across NSW.

Within Safer Pathway, relevant government and non-government agencies work together to identify people experiencing domestic and family violence, and to offer them support to improve their safety. More information about Safer Pathway here.

Safer Pathway and LGBTIQ+ people

All people, regardless of sexuality or gender identity are entitled to respect/dignity.

When a Safer Pathway support worker contacts you, you do not have to disclose or discuss your sexuality or gender identity if you do not feel comfortable. However, if you do feel comfortable to do so, it may be helpful to disclose this information so that you can be referred to the appropriate support service, for example, services that correspond with your gender identity.

Your sexuality and gender identity will always be kept confidential within Safer Pathway, and will only be discussed with other services if it is relevant to providing you with support and keeping you safe.

Where can I get more information and support?

You can find more resources on domestic and family violence and LGBTIQ+ people from ACON.

If you do not feel comfortable reporting to police, there are other ways to get help:

If you would like to contact Safer Pathway services directly:

  • Contact your nearest Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) on 1800 938 227 or email to be connected to your local Safer Pathway support service for men.
Last updated:

19 Nov 2021

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