The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter understands that domestic violence can happen in any relationship and is not limited to hetrosexual relationships. Research from Private Lives – a report on the health and wellbeing of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer Australians (LGBTIQ) – indicates that one in threeLGBTIQ people experience domestic or family violence (DFV), which is similar to levels of DFV experienced by non-LGBTIQ women. The research shows LGBTIQ people are also less likely to identify it as DFV, seek support or find appropriate services that meet their specific needs.
“There is significant under reporting of DFV incidents within theLGBTIQ community” says Superintendent Tony Crandell the NSW Police corporate spokesperson forLGBTIQ issues. “We know that it is happening, however, people assume that what’s happening to them isn’t a crime or perhaps they are too scared to come forward because they are being controlled or intimidated.”
Research has found that 13% of LGBTIQ people experiencing domestic violence will stay in that relationship for 6 years or more.
A lot of domestic violence in the LGBTIQ community goes unreported, because they are not taken seriously or it is because there is a lack of support services that are available to them.
Stronger Safer Together
The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter and Sisters and Brothers NT’s have newly formed an advocacy and reconciliation group for Sistergirls and Brotherboys, Indigenous and Non- Indigenous Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Inter-sex (GLBTI) people from the Northern Territory: Stronger Safer Together
Stories from women about abuse in lesbian relationships
How do other people survive domestic violence? What helped them? What advice do they have for others?
Ayet’s story is a true story, with all names and details changed.
She and I met when I was in my twenties and she in her thirties. We basically met and moved in. She didn’t like my place in the city so she brought me 20 miles away from my life. I became a stepmother right away to her child (whom I adored) and everything I did had to be revolving around her…and she was the one that said she never wanted me to lose myself in her. She told me she wanted me to have my own opinion and when I did she got angry that I disagreed.
She didn’t like my close friends, or my job and so I gave those up. She drank more and became more violent, verbally and physically, always begging for forgiveness afterward and showering me with love. That allowed me to forget the pain.
I didn’t want to lose her or her child so I stayed and tried to change my views to suit her. I became so dependent on her approval and money and home and love that I had forgotten what I needed in life to make me happy. I was so understanding but to a fault and when the threat of my leaving came, she threw me out.
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