Looking out for Each Other
Why ACON's anti violence project is still so important to the LGBT community...
Anti-Violence Project you say! What’s that!? Homophobia and Transphobia don’t exist anymore so why would we need an Anti-Violence Project? Right? Not quite.
We support people who’ve experienced incidents ranging from serious physical harm to cyber bullying, domestic violence to neighbour harassment. We train the NSW Police Force’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs), advocate for our diverse communities, run campaigns and work closely with different organisations. The AVP team has a strong commitment to working with everyone within our communities and in particular with marginalised members including lesbians, Aboriginal, trans* or gender diverse, sex workers or people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Over the last few years we’ve seen levels of street-based physical violence reducing and the NSW Police Force increasing their commitment to address our communities’ needs. Across Sydney and NSW collaborative work is being done to help GLBTIQ-ers feel safer in their communities and able to access support when needed. Verbal abuse and harassment continue to be commonly reported to the AVP, with domestic violence being one of the fastest growing areas of reporting.
It is encouraging that our communities are beginning to find a language to talk about abuse in relationships and that reports are increasing. This reflects more accurately the levels of abuse occurring in our relationships.
However, there are still big challenges. Abuse can be hard for us to recognise or discuss. We might not know where to go for support. Reporting or asking for help can be difficult. Friends or family might not get it. Or we may not trust services.
One new AVP initiative involves working with community members and leaders. The Street Safety Ambassador Program is a community initiative which works with a team of people representing a diverse range of community networks. Ambassadors act as eyes and ears for their networks, support others and offer simple but practical information on safety strategies, support and reporting options. Launched for Mardi Gras 2012, we’re now keen to build this Ambassador program further. We are currently looking to involve and reach more women (lesbians, women who have sex with women, same-sex attracted women, dykes, queers, cis and trans* women). If you feel you or your network would benefit from being involved we’d love to hear from you. We’d love to see this program working right across NSW. Please contact Teddy Cook on firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 9206 2030.
For info, support, referral or to make a report to us please contact ACON’s Anti-Violence Project on (02) 9206 2116 or 1800 063 060 during office hours. To make a report or get tips on safety see our website www.acon.org.au/anti-violence
You can also report violence via the Police Assistance Line 131 444. You can report any incident to the available officer, however Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLOs) may also be available. Call the Police Switchboard on 02 9281 0000 or the AVP for a GLLO near you.
For more information on LGBTIQ domestic and family violence go to: