A national conference on domestic violence in the LGBT community will be held in Sydney this month.

The conference, presented by the LGBTIQ Domestic Violence Interagency, will give workers in health, social services, legal and law enforcement professions better insights into how to respond to domestic violence encountered by people of diverse sex, sexuality or gender.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said the conference was an important first step in responding to ACON’s 2011 One Size Does Not Fit All report which pointed to gaps in the system when dealing with LGBT domestic violence.

“This conference offers an opportunity for mainstream and specialist services to work together … and ensure that appropriate support is available,” Parkhill said.

LGBTIQ Domestic Violence Interagency chair Kate Duffy said the rate of domestic violence among LGBT people was nearly similar to that experienced by heterosexual women.

“This conference offers an opportunity to address some of the unique needs of LGBTIQ people as well as providing a forum to discuss healthy relationship models,” Duffy said.

NSW Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward will open the conference on September 16 at the Rex Centre, Kings Cross. Presenters include Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick and Hungry Beast presenter and Star Observer columnist Monique Schafter.

The conference is in partnership with NSW Police, the City of Sydney, SOAAR (the Greater Western Sydney Network), the Inner City Legal Service and ACON.

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