ACON and Domestic Violence NSW have launched the Queer Voices for Change project aimed at tackling domestic and family violence (DFV) in the LGBTIQ community.

The project is seeking voices of LGBTIQ people with lived experience of DFV willing to share their stories.

“Awareness is growing about the prevalence of intimate partner violence in Australia today, however the existence of abuse in relationships involving LGBTIQ people remains largely invisible,” said Kai Noonan, Associate Director, LGBTIQ Health Programming and Development at ACON.

Trans people and bisexual women have been shown to be victims of domestic and family violence at higher rates than the rest of the community.

Rates of family violence in LGBTQI communities are equal to, or higher than, among non-LGBTIQ people according to a growing body of research.

A new study published in June found that two in three GBTIQ men have been in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

“People who have experienced violence have a unique understanding and insight into intimate partner violence and how to prevent it,” explains Renata Field, Program Coordinator of the Voices for Change project at Domestic Violence NSW.

“Voices for Change enables survivors to share their story in order to better inform and educate the community on intimate partner and family violence.”

Co-led by Domestic Violence NSW and ACON and partly funded by Our Watch, Queer Voices for Change ensures that the voices of LGBTIQ people who have experienced intimate partner, family and/or sexual violence are heard through the media and public events.

Applications are now open for anyone who identifies as LGBTIQ, lives in NSW and has a lived experience of intimate partner violence, family violence and/or sexual assault.

Successful applicants will have access to a free 3-day professional media advocacy training which will take place in Sydney in August.

They will learn to speak about their personal experience in order to change community attitudes and to contribute to a more accurate and LGBTIQ+ inclusive public discussion on intimate partner, family and sexual violence.

“Hearing people from the LGBTIQ community speaking publicly about their experiences of interpersonal violence will hopefully raise awareness of the issue and also empower other people from our community, who have also experienced abuse, to get the help they need to get out of an abusive situation,” said Noonan.

Applications are open until Sunday July 28th 2019.

For more information and to submit an expression of interest, head to sayitloud.org.au.

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