A landmark NSW study has explored gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer (GBTIQ) men’s attitudes towards and experiences of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

The Sorting It Out study was commissioned by ACON and conducted by researchers at Western Sydney University.

Almost 900 GBTIQ men over the age of 18 were involved in the study, which found that almost two thirds of respondents had been in an unhealthy or abusive relationship in the past.

It also found that younger men were more likely than older men to report incidents of abuse within the last four years, 51 per cent of respondents agreed that sexual coercion and pressure were common among gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, and queer men.

Chief Executive of ACON, Nicolas Parkhill, said the study was commissioned because there was “a gap in data”.

“Knowing more about men’s understandings and responses to relationship violence and abuse will help inform the development of key messages, programs, and responses that address these issues,” he said.

Ahead of the release of the study’s full findings, two community consultation sessions will be held in Sydney and Lismore, to provide community members with the opportunity to hear from experts in the LGBTI domestic and family violence sector and to identify priorities as a community.

Parkhill said GBTIQ men face a range of specific challenges when it comes to intimate partner violence.

“We know that the physical, emotional and personal costs of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in our communities are often the same as they are for heterosexual people,” he said.

“However, when it comes to the experiences of GBTIQ men, there are some aspects unique to that community that require its own set of responses and support.

“This study is important as it asks GBTIQ men questions that they have never been asked on a large scale before, such as about whether or not they would intervene in a friend’s abusive relationship, and whether there were ever excuses for violence.

“In order to fully support GBTIQ men and foster healthy relationships, we need to understand more about their experiences about intimate partner violence as well as their attitudes on relationships.”

ACON will be conducting a social media awareness raising campaign about the support available for men who have experienced intimate partner violence in their relationships.

Sorting It Out Community Consultations:

  • Sydney: 11 June, 6pm – 9pm, ACON, 414 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
  • Lismore: 13 June, 5.30 – 8.30pm, Richmond Hotel Function Room, 36 Woodlark St, Lismore

View the report and/or RSVP for the community consultation at: sayitoutloud.org.au/sorting-it-out

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