There is increasing evidence that rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) relationships are as high as in cisgender heterosexual relationships. Currently, almost all mainstream perpetrator intervention programs are not designed to adequately meet the specific and unique needs of LGBTIQ people who use family violence. Although there are many similarities in the way abuse is carried out, many LGBTIQ people have experiences not covered in interventions designed for heterosexual men. Mainstream perpetrator interventions are often unsupportive and irrelevant for LGBTIQ people whilst perpetrator groups are also often unsafe. As a community, efforts to challenge this problem have often been led by community responses, with limited interface with formal services. The Victorian AIDS Council (VAC) and ACON (in NSW) have developed their own programs based on current behavioural change models, specifically designed to meet the needs of LGBTIQ people. VAC has been running a behavior change group program for gay and bisexual men, ReVisioning, since 2003. This program now forms part of an integrated response to family violence that includes victim support as part of a broader state wide integrated response model, and has recently been formally evaluated. ACON has been conducting research, developing campaigns and resources and trialing intervention groups for the whole LGBTIQ community (including women, trans and gender diverse people) in partnership with Relationships Australia.
Jackson Fairchild | Jackson.Fairchild@vac.org.au
Jackson Fairchild is currently the Manager of the Counselling, Alcohol and Other Drug and Family Violence Services at the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC). These programs provide individual, couples and group counselling as well as case management support to the LGBTI and HIV positive communities, as well as providing training and capacity building to the wider sector.
Kai Noonan is the Project Coordinator of ACON’s Domestic and Family Violence Project which focusses on advocacy, training, resource development, research and community awareness raising initiatives.