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Family lawyer commends action taken against DV rates in LGBTIQ community
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Family lawyer commends action taken against DV rates in LGBTIQ community

Brisbane

A Brisbane family lawyer has welcomed the Queensland government’s move to tackle domestic violence in LGBTIQ communities. 

Hetherington Family Law lawyer Corey Washbourne has applauded a move by Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer to introduce a campaign that aims to raise awareness of domestic and family violence occurring in the LGBTIQ community.

“Sadly, domestic violence happens everywhere and can happen to anyone and the LGBTIQ communities are not immune from it," Mr Washbourne said.

“These new measures mean DV perpetrators won’t be able to hide from being held accountable."

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The new awareness campaign taps into recommendation 14 of the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report, which calls for the delivery of information and advice on the types of abuse that are unique to the LGBTIQ community, and dispel some of the common misconceptions about support options.

Mr Washbourne hopes the state government’s embracing the LGBTIQ communities in its domestic violence policies will have a “positive spinoff on how the wider community views people in LGBTIQ relationships”.

“The campaign addresses the current lack of LGBTI representation in the government’s domestic violence awareness campaigns, which have skewed heavily towards representing heterosexual relationships and traditional gender roles,” he said.

“It is useful for the campaign to dispel myths around LGBTI domestic violence and confirm that domestic violence is about power and control over another person.

“In the community, you hear of domestic violence incidents often months after it has happened. There is a lack of support from family, especially if a victim's family rejected them based on their sexuality or gender identity, and perpetrators may be popular and well-known, leading to a fear of speaking out or a belief that they will not be believed or even lose friends from reporting their partner’s behaviour.

“So this is a positive first step from the government, and a starting point to build from."

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