Education campaigns will be introduced into NSW schools and government workplaces to stamp out homophobic violence under a new plan unveiled by the NSW Government.
Working together: Preventing violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people sets out a five-year plan in which NSW Government agencies will be required to reduce prejudice-related violence against gays and lesbians.
The strategy was initiated after the 2003 release of an Attorney General’s report into homophobic violence, and was signed off by the Premier’s Department nine months ago.
ACON president Adrian Lovney said while long overdue, the strategy was an important step towards improving the safety of the state’s gay and lesbian community.
The challenge now is for the NSW Government to ensure this plan is backed up with the authority and the resources that will allow its extraordinary potential to be realised, he said.
Released on Monday by NSW Police Minister David Campbell and Labor MLC Penny Sharpe, the strategy identifies education campaigns in schools and workplaces, support for victims of violence and violence prevention strategies as key priorities.
Campbell said while these strategies were important for police to help deal with anti-gay violence, they were also essential for other government agencies including the Anti-Discrimination Board, Juvenile Justice and the Education and Housing departments.
The new strategy references the You Shouldn’t Have to Hide to be Safe report that showed schools were a common place for homophobic violence.
An Education department spokesman said the anti-homophobia strategy contained a number of proposals that were under consideration. The department -¦ does not tolerate homophobia in schools, he said.
Lovney said personal safety was everyone’s right, however, gay men and lesbians in NSW are between four and six times more likely than the general population to experience abuse, harassment or assault.
This is completely unacceptable and we’ve been campaigning for years for a range of measures to be implemented to better protect people in our community, he said.
Victims of homophobic abuse or violence should call 000. The Lesbian and Gay Anti-Violence Project can be contacted on 9206 2116 or 1800 063060.

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