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Preventing family violence against LGBTI people

In May 2017, Our Watch in partnership with Dr Philomena Horsley and GLHV@ARCSHS, La Trobe University, were commissioned by the Victorian Government to undertake a comprehensive literature review exploring family violence against people from lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) communities. The review specifically focused on the prevention of family violence against LGBTI people in response to needs identified by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, and recognising the significant gaps in research and knowledge with respect to this issue. The final report, Primary prevention of family violence against people from LGBTI communities – An analysis of existing research, was delivered to the Victorian Government in October 2017. 

Click here to read a summary version of the report.

The scope of this work is slightly different from Our Watch's usual focus. The specific focus only on family violence is narrower than our usual concern with 'all forms of violence against women', while the focus on violence against LGBTI people is broader than our usual specific focus on women. We saw this project as an important opportunity to work with our partners to review, share and develop the evidence base on these overlapping and interconnected issues. 

Our Watch recognises that women who experience violence are diverse – some are lesbian, bisexual, trans, gender diverse, queer or intersex. So while Change the story is a universal framework, it doesn’t go into any depth about the specific issues relevant to violence experienced by people in LGBTI communities, nor the drivers of violence perpetrated against them. This new follow-up piece of work delves deeply into these issues. As such it is aligned with Action 10 in Change the story which calls for an intersectional approach to promoting social equality and transforming structural discrimination and disadvantage. The development of this report itself included forming alliances with LGBTIQ experts to jointly challenge homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and intersexism as well as sexism and gender inequality. 

As the report highlights, there are some similarities as well as significant distinctions between what drives violence against cisgender heterosexual women and violence against LGBTI people. Understanding these similarities and differences can help identify opportunities for more effective cross-sectoral collaboration on violence prevention strategies. 

Our Watch would like to acknowledge and thank Dr Philomena Horsley, William Leonard and Matt Parsons for their invaluable advice, insights, expertise and time. This report is the product of our strong collective, transparent and collaborative partnership. We would like to also express appreciation and thanks to the many LGBTIQ researchers, advocates, organisations, community groups, individuals, and their allies, whose work over many years has laid the foundations for this report. 

For further information about this research please contact Emma Partridge, Manager, Policy. (emma.partridge@ourwatch.org.au).