Improving services working with LGBTIQ communities
- New South Wales
Fourth Action Plan actions
- Respect, listen and respond to the diverse lived experience and knowledge of women and their children affected by violence
- Respond to sexual violence and sexual harassment
- 14 Deliver client-centred, trauma-informed, specialised and consistent support to victims and survivors of sexual violence.
What are we doing?
As part of the NSW Sexual Assault Strategy 2018-2021, launched in 2018, the NSW Government is working with ACON to support NSW frontline professionals to work meaningfully and effectively with people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities regarding sexual assault. The NSW Government is also working with ACON to improve LGBTIQ inclusion in, and awareness of, domestic and family violence services.
What have we achieved so far?
ACON has worked with frontline domestic and family violence services to build the capacity of staff and improve their organisations’ policies and practices to better serve the LGBTIQ community. ACON has also conducted staff training to raise awareness of issues specific to LGBTIQ people.
ACON completed a policy and practice review project to build the capacity of a frontline DFV service in regional NSW. The project included guidance and recommendations for intake and assessment processes.
What is next?
Domestic and family violence services will continue to work with ACON to undertake policy and practice reviews, and build capacity through staff training.
ACON are developing an e-learning package to build the capacity of support frontline workers to provide best practice, inclusive support for people from LGBTQ+ communities who have experienced sexual assault. This will include sexual assault services, domestic and family violence services, homelessness services, alcohol and other drugs services, Corrections, NSW Police Force, general practitioners, hospital and health workers and tertiary educators. The learning package is currently being developed by ACON and is anticipated to be available by September 2020.
Over the next two years (July 2020-June 2022), ACON will provide specialist community engagement and research to build on successful existing community-based interventions in the LGBTQ+ community that align to the NSW Sexual Assault Strategy 2018-2021 and the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform 2016-2021. ACON will lead a number of initiatives including a research project on the prevalence of sexual assault in LGBTQ+ communities, development of a sexual assault educational toolkit, delivery of a domestic violence perpetrator behaviour change program and delivery of two support groups for victim-survivors of sexual assault.
A further $200,000 was provided to ACON through the NSW Government and Commonwealth Government funding as part of the Domestic and Family Violence stimulus packages. The COVID-19 funding has provided an opportunity to extend support for LGBTQ+ communities during the COVID period. Funding is being allocated in response to the current environment, where it is critical that essential domestic and family violence services continue to operate and are equipped to deal with increasing complexities due to COVID-19. This includes additional specialist counselling, support, information and referral services for LGBTQ+ individuals who have experienced domestic and family violence and/or sexual assault, or have had an increased risk to their safety during the COVID-19 period.
What difference will we make?
Through this work with ACON and the LGBTIQ community, domestic and family violence and other services will have an increased understanding of issues specific to LGBTIQ people and increased capability to meet the needs of LGBTIQ victim–survivors.