In September I presented at the third biennial LGBTIQ domestic violence conference in Sydney.

The conference focus was on social and cultural inclusion and diversity for LGBTIQ people and families who have experienced family violence. The aim was to encourage an inclusive national model of practice for working with people of diverse sexuality and gender.

What I found most rewarding about attending the conference was the focus on different agencies working together in order to provide the best response to family violence.

Victoria Police is committed to addressing and responding to family violence in our community but we recognise that we can’t do it alone. By adopting a multiagency approach and working with other services that provide support and counselling to victims we are more likely to see the cycle of violence broken than if we, as police, intervene on our own.

Family violence is a serious issue within our community, one that often remains hidden and is far too often unreported. Although most family violence involves violence perpetrated by a man against a woman, it can also occur in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships.

It is important that we have an understanding what family violence involves so we, as a community, can stand up against it. As well as physical violence, family violence can include threats, sexual assault, emotional and psychological torment, economic control, property damage, social isolation and stalking.

Friday, November 25 is White Ribbon Day. Held on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, it is an event which remembers the victims and survivors of family violence as well as the devastating impact family violence has on our community.

What makes White Ribbon Day unique is that it is a national violence prevention campaign that aims to raise awareness among Australian men and boys about the roles they can play to prevent violence against women. It calls for men to take an oath swearing to never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.

White Ribbon Day involves community and government agency partnerships including Victoria Police. Several events will be held in Melbourne on the date including the Walk Against Violence and the Not1More event. These are annual White Ribbon Day Events that you can get involved in.

The Walk will leave Melbourne Town Hall at 2.30pm, heading down Elizabeth St, and culminating at Federation Square where Not1More will take over with music, sports, performance and speakers.

More information can be found at www.whiteribbon.org.au and www.not1more.com
November 25 is about remembering the victims of family violence and working together to prevent family violence. Our long-term aim is to make violence against women a thing of the past.

Victoria Police have information brochures about family violence at www.police.vic.gov.au

If you are a victim of family violence, please seek help and support (Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service on 1800 015 188) or call 000 for police assistance.

By SNR CONSTABLE GABRIELLE TYACKE
Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit

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