On 19th May, the Women’s Centre for Health Matters launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness in the LGBTIQ community about family and domestic violence.  The need for the campaign arose from research which the Centre conducted in late 2015, where this issue was explored in the ACT. It identified gaps in local knowledge and understanding, with many of the local respondents identifying that they were less likely to identify domestic and family violence in their relationships, because:

  • They were not aware that domestic violence was an issue relevant to their community;
  • They did not recognise that what was happening to them was domestic or family violence;
  • And LGBTIQ friends and others in their social networks often did not recognise the abusive relationship dynamics as ‘intimate partner violence’ or ‘family violence’.

The need for the creation of awareness and understanding that this is an issue within the LGBTIQ community was identified, a recommendation from the report was for the development of LGBTIQ culturally appropriate resources and materials that would raise awareness within the ACT LGBTIQ Community about domestic violence, what it looks like and what they can do/where they can seek support.

WCHM then worked with members of the local LBGTI community to explore what would work best and what the concepts and wording for awareness raising in the community should be.  The majority of the community members consulted said they needed to see their relationships in a positive light, even if such a difficult and negative topic was involved. There was a strong preference in the consultations that the images and messages be used in a series of posters in public spaces in the community, supported by Avant Cards in local cafes where it was likely to be seen and easy to pick up, and also supported by being connected to other information.

The overall campaign comprises 5 images on posters, each of which shows a different local ‘real’ and recognisable couple, and which use the slogan ‘Same Love. Same Rules’!  The images are available to share online, posters are available for display and the Avant cards will be available in cafes and public venues from late May. The campaign also encourages the LGBTIQ community to find out more about domestic and family violence by directing them to more information on a website – www.helpstopdv.org.au .

The result is a positive campaign which shows local loving and diverse couples in the ACT but which reminds the LGBTIQ community that domestic and family violence can happen in their relationships and that there are services which can help.