Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTQI) relationships are based on love and respect. Some are based on abuse and control. Two in every five LGBTQI people will experience domestic and/or family violence (DFV). Violence in LGBTQI relationships has the same elements as all violent relationships. We explore the unique differences for LGBTQI people, with a special focus on our Indigenous LGBTQI population, by listening to survivors, questioning police & ministers and learn from leaders in the support and prevention services. How is this different, what support is available and how does it affect an LGBTQI survivor (or perpetrator) of DFV, in remote, rural and metropolitan areas?
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
Two in every five LGBTQI people will experience domestic and/or family violence (DFV). In November 2017, nearly 8 million Australians voted YES to marriage equality. Fighting for equality has been a focal point for many LGBTQI community initiatives. In the past, community organisations have been reluctant to engage in initiatives that portray the LGBTQI community in a negative light. Consequently, it has been difficult for some government agencies to acknowledge and identify DFV in the LGBTQI community.
The majority of campaigns on DFV focuses on non-LGBTQI relationships which contribute to a lack of awareness about what constitutes abuse. LGBTQI people do not see themselves in this campaign and are therefore more likely to not be aware that they are in an abusive relationship.
This documentary will be ground-breaking in bringing DFV within the LGBTQI community out of the closet and making the community but also mainstream Australia aware that DFV does exist in our community.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
To highlight the unique factors of intersectionality an LGBTQI victim of DFV faces and the need to educate Australians, specifically policymakers, HR departments, and mainstream support services. It is time for the recognition and inclusion of LGBTQI victims across all discussions on DFV in Australia.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
Visibility. Education. Change. Our social impact campaign is focused on creating visibility on DFV in LGBTQI families, which will assist Victims of DFV to find support sooner. However, while victims might reach out earlier, there is still a lack of funding and consequently a lack of resource and training available. All research is d on this topic clearly outlines unique factors of intersectionality,that affects a victim of DFV. Because of this, it is essential for mainstream support services (including corporations with DV policies) to invest in dedicated training to be able to service LGBTQI clients in a sensitive and safe way. We also discovered that Ministers for Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence in QLD, TAS and the ACT expressed interest to include the LGBTQI community in their strategies moving forward. Most of the time, lack of support is based on lack of funding for dedicated training. Highlighting those discussions on ministerial level will generate change and hope.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
On Visibility: At this stage DFV in the LGBTQI community is still not talked about. By having survivors speak up, we will let people know, they are not alone. We also have interviews lined up with Researchers and Support Services from within the LGBTQI community but also from mainstream services.
On Eduction: The documentary will consist of 4 stand alone episodes that we hope will be used for educational puposes. It will be based on latest statistics and facts available on this topic and will (in each episode) provide solutions, hope and support. On Change: Our hope is that the documentary will be broadcast on a national channel to reach the wider Australian audience. We believe it will be mainly our Allies who will be able to innitiate change through understanding that DFV also affects our community. But change also has to come in form of more funding, inclusive policies, trainig and support services. Most of those decision makers will be our Allies.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
Our community influence through LOTL* (Australian niche media for LGBTQI since 1989) has provided direct access to community and organisations such as 1800RESPECT, ACON, Another Closet, Anrows, DVRCV, DVCS, Rainbow Family, Inner City Legal Council, GenderRights ACT, Womens Health Matters, GLLO Police in NSW, QLD and SA and the LGBTQI Health Alliance. We are working in close consultation with representatives of those organisations. Additional to this we are working very closely with our Community Consultant Ben Bjarnesen, founder of the LGBTQ DV Awareness Foundation. For our indigenous episode Dr Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat is our Indigenous Consultant, leading the discussion on the dedicated episode on DFV within indigenous LGBTQI Partnerships.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
For victims of DFV - we hope they a) regognise their situation and b) are able to reach out for help (We will discuss support services available in the doco) For non victims, we hope they regognise DFV earlier, so they can offer support. And for Support Services / Police and Ministers they acknowledge that the LGBTQI community is not immune from DFV and due to multiple complex layers of idendity, DFV is more complex and needs inclusive policies & training to be able to support LGBTQI clients.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
We hope a national distributor will take up the documentary, as it will be important to reach a mainstream audience - our allies are our brothers, sisters, neighbours, colleagues, policymakers, or the person answering the helpline. By working together, we can implement change and hope. We like to see the documentary used for training and educational purposes across HR departments, LGBTQI organisations, and support services. We also see a need for visible inclusion in any marketing strategies that involve prevention and support for DFV. Our documentary will extract Media assets to advertising agencies to include in their campaign.