Responding to LGBTI experiences of violence

  • If you do not respond to sexual, domestic or family violence often, our Introduction to responding page is a good place to start
  • Some people who identify as LGBTI have an understandable fear of discrimination when using a mainstream service
  • Responding effectively means developing inclusive practice
  • This page provides information on how to improve your practices when supporting people who identify as LGBTI.

The importance of inclusivity

There are many things we can do to develop inclusive practice. One good starting point is to identify discrimination and unconscious bias in our service provision and to address it with best practice responses.

Fear of discrimination or not being taken seriously, including within the mainstream service system, can make it difficult for people to discuss what is happening in their relationships with partners and family members. This can contribute to an increased risk of nondisclosure. More information on the types of discrimination that can be experienced by LGBTI communities can be found in the Understanding the issues tab in this section.

Building an inclusive service by embedding inclusive practices into our services will directly address the needs of the LGBTI communities. All our knowledge around increasing safety applies and there are practical things we can do to respond appropriately. A number of resources can be utilised to improve inclusive practice at the level of your organisation.

Inclusivity in the workplace

  • The organisation embeds LGBTI inclusive practice into organisational systems
  • Services need to identify, assess and mitigate risks to ensure the physical and cultural safety of LGBTI clients
  • Professional development is provided to ensure all staff in the service are confident about LGBTI inclusive practice
  • LGBTI clients are consulted about, and participate in, the planning, development and review of the service
  • Access and intake processes send a message of welcome to LGBTI consumers at the point of access and beyond

Inclusivity as an individual

  • Don't assume someone is or isn’t LGBTI because of the way they look or what you see
  • Treating everyone the same is not necessarily meeting their individual needs
  • Create a welcoming, confidential and culturally appropriate environment for LGBTI people
  • Update your intake forms and talk to people about using inclusive language — for recommended gender and sexuality indicators see the ACON website.
  • Add an inclusivity statement on your webpage or Facebook page
  • Refer to the Pride in Diversity social inclusion initiative

Helpful resources

Access the Guide to Inclusive Practice

Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria have produced a Guide to Inclusive Practice

Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria 

Visit Another Closet

Another Closet is a website for LGBTI people who are affected by domestic or family violence.

Another Closet 

Visit Say It Out Loud

Say It Out Loud is a website specifically about LGBTIQ relationships. It includes information, support and referrals for domestic violence in LGBTIQ relationships as well as more information for professionals.

Say It Out Loud