The NSW government last week announced more than $100,000 in funding for five gay and lesbian anti-violence projects.
The Attorney-General’s department funding is in response to last year’s You shouldn’t have to hide to be safe report. The survey of NSW lesbians and gay men revealed that more than half of the respondents had experienced homophobic abuse in the previous 12 months.
The ACON anti-violence project received funding for an Arab language anti-homophobia campaign.
The issues these particular groups face are different and need a tailored response apart from the mainstream, coordinator of the project, Somali Cerise, said.
Last year’s report noted the possibility of honour killings as the most extreme expression of a Middle Eastern family’s feelings of shame about a lesbian daughter.
Cerise said the $20,000 project would survey a broad range of Arabic community leaders and develop an action plan for the future.
Another project funded by the grants scheme aims to prevent homophobia in children aged seven to nine years old.
The rationale for this project is that homophobic prejudice and discrimination may be prevented if children are introduced to the concepts in their early years, the project coordinator, Vicki Harding, said.
Harding plans to produce her third book for Sydney schools next year.