1 December 2020
Equality Australia and the Centre for Family Research and Evaluation at Drummond Street Services have released a groundbreaking research report on domestic and family violence affecting LGBTIQ+ people, There’s no safe place at home.
It finds that over 1 in 10 LGBTIQ+ people are at risk of domestic and family violence, with LGBTIQ+ people under 25 years being 4.5 times more likely to be at risk than those 25 years and over.
The report is based on data from 2,631 LGBTIQ+ people in Australia who were surveyed in April/May about their experiences of domestic and family violence.
The report finds 12.2% of LGBTIQ+ respondents at risk of domestic and family violence based on their experiences in the last 12 months. 8% currently lived with someone who had been violent, abusive, harassing or controlling towards them in the last 12 months; and 5% currently lived with someone who they feared would be violent, abusive or controlling towards them.
Families of origin were a significant source of the violence experienced by LGBTIQ+ respondents, in addition to intimate partners and housemates.
The risk of family and domestic violence was considerably higher for some groups within the LGBTIQ+ population. Among those are LGBTIQ+ people under the age of 25 (who are 4.5 times more likely to be at risk) and trans and gender diverse people (who are 2.7 times more likely to be at risk). LGBTIQ+ people with disabilities and chronic health conditions also have an increased risk (1.9 times), with those with intellectual or mental health conditions at even greater risk.
Ghassan Kasissieh, Legal Director of Equality Australia, says “Everyone deserves to feel safe at home, no matter who they are or whom they love. Unfortunately for many LGBTIQ+ people, their homes are not safe places,”
“The unacceptable violence experienced by LGBTIQ people, especially those who are young and trans or gender diverse, are often at the hands of those people who are nearest and dearest to them. People who should be protecting them.”
Beth McCann, Manager of Centre for Family Research and Evaluation at Drummond Street Services, says “As part of our national family violence strategy, governments must ensure we collect data on this issue and equip services with the training and resources needed to ensure they respond to this issue inclusively and appropriately. It’s time for LGBTIQ+ people to be fully included in the national family violence plan.”
Ghassan Kassisieh continued: “More needs to be done to ensure safe havens are available for LGBTIQ+ people who experience violence at home. But while our laws continue to allow discrimination in service provision and schools run by faith-based organisations, LGBTIQ+ people who experience violence at home have fewer places to go for support and safety.”
To accompany the report, an Australia-wide resource directory of support services for LGBTIQ+ people experiencing domestic and family violence has been launched by Drummond Street Services here.
Key statistics from the report
- 2,631 LGBTIQ+ people in Australia surveyed in April-May 2020
- 12.2% of LGBTIQ+ respondents at risk of domestic and family violence
- 8% of LGBTIQ+ respondents currently lived with someone who had been violent, abusive, harassing or controlling towards them in the last 12 months
- 5% of LGBTIQ+ respondents currently lived with someone who they feared would be violent, abusive or controlling towards them.
- Within the LGBTIQ+ population, certain groups were more likely to be at risk of domestic and family violence:
- Young people under 25 years (4.5x more likely to be at risk);
- People with living with others who did not know about their sexuality (3.5x)
- Trans and gender diverse people (2.7x);
- People who were unemployed and/or looking for work (2.2x);
- People with disabilities or chronic health conditions (1.9x), particularly intellectual disabilities (up to 3x) and mental health conditions (up to 2.2x); and
- Multi-gender attracted people (1.6x).
- Among the report recommendations are that:
- National datasets properly capture LGBTIQ+ experiences of domestic and family violence
- The national plan to reduce domestic and family violence properly includes all LGBTIQ+ people.