ON May 28, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Foundation launched its #SeenAndBelieved campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of DFV in LGBTQ communities, aiming to break down the barriers to victims and survivors seeking and gaining support.
Available evidence suggests that over 60 per cent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have experienced Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) in their lifetime.
Founder of LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, DVConnect Board Member and Queensland Police officer, Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen, said, “Domestic and family violence is an insidious issue that can affect anyone regardless of their gender, income, occupation, location, race, or religion.
“LGBTQ people are not immune from experiencing this problem.
“Because the majority of mainstream coverage of domestic and family violence frames the issue as exclusively a heterosexual problem, many LGBTQ people feel that what they are experiencing doesn’t fall under the umbrella of domestic violence.
“Some also fear that if they seek help, they either won’t be believed, or support won’t be available.”
Now in its second year, the campaign has expanded beyond Australia and in 2021 was commemorated by over 300 organisations in 11 countries including the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Ireland and The Netherlands.
Over 30 Police organisations were involved across the globe including the London Metropolitan Police Service, Irish Garda, Northern Ireland Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Amsterdam Politi, San Francisco and Fort Lauderdale Police Departments in the USA.
In a demonstration of solidarity, landmarks across the globe were also lit in the rainbow or trans flags to acknowledge the significance of this event and to shine a light on DFV in LGBTQ communities.
The community were encouraged to start a conversation about what they can do to ensure that all victims and survivors, including LGBTQ people, are supported if they experience domestic or family violence.
People were also encouraged to learn more about the unique methods of power and control that may be experienced in LGBTQ relationships and how to reduce any barriers to reporting by visiting DVAfoundation.org.
“Only with the support of the community can we ensure there are no invisible victims in the future and that everyone, no matter their sexuality or gender identity can feel #SeenAndBelieved,” said Senior Constable Bjarnesen.
88 organisations were involved, including:
- Queensland Police Service
New South Wales Police Force
Western Australia Police Force
National UK Police LGBT+ Network
Hants Police LAGLO’S
Northumbria Police LGBT+
North Yorkshire Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Greater Manchester Police
London Met Police
- North Wales Police
Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent
South Wales Police
Fort Lauderdale Police
San Francisco Police
Northern Ireland Police Service
- West Mercia Police
Thames Valley Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
North Yorkshire Police
West Yorkshire Police