Developing and testing LGBTIQ programs for perpetrators and survivors of domestic and family violence

Project Summary - PI.17.09

Perpetrator interventions strategic research priority 3.3 Models to address diversity

This project will contribute new knowledge and practice principles for working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people affected by domestic and family violence (DFV). While recognising the importance of an inclusive approach within the LGBTIQ community and acknowledging gender fluidity, the research will highlight the perpetration of DFV against LGBTIQ people who self-identify as women and effective responses for these particular victims/survivors.

The study involves a partnership between ACON and Relationships Australia (NSW), which will tailor and trial the Relationships Australia Family Safety Program with perpetrators and victims/survivors of DFV who are part of the LGBTIQ community. The project proposes to trial group programs for three cohorts of perpetrators and victims/survivors including: women who self-identify as lesbian, bisexual, and queer; men who self-identify as gay, bisexual and queer; and a mixed LGBTIQ group.

The quasi-experimental mixed method design will use a literature review, pre and post intervention surveys and qualitative interviews with clients and professionals. It aims to generate information about the nature of violence in LGBTIQ relationships including the role that gender plays in characterising DFV and the extent to which gender-based interventions are required for LGBTIQ victims/survivors and perpetrators.

Proposed outcomes for the project include an increased understanding of the nature of DFV within LGBTIQ communities, information to guide screening and intake of LGBTIQ clients into programs and the role of behaviour change groups in increasing safety for women and children in these communities.

The research team will be supported by a project reference group comprised of  key  academics,  clinicians  and  researchers  in  the  areas  of  LGBTIQ theory and practice, DFV interventions  and  social  work  practice.


Project Lead

Mr Brandon-Leith Bear, ACON 

Research expertise

Dr Jen Hamer, Relationships Australia (NSW)

Dr Rebecca Gray, Research Consultant

Mr Brent Mackie, ACON 

Practice expertise

Ms Kai Noonan, ACON

Ms Alexandra (Tommy) Walker, ACON

Mr Andrew King, Relationships Australia (NSW)

Advisory Panel

Professor Sarah Wendt, Flinders University

Emeritus Professor Thea Brown, Monash University

Dr Philomena Horsley, La Trobe University

Dr Jemima Petch, Relationships Australia (QLD)

Mr Chris Pye, Relationships Australia (QLD)

Ms Karen Field, Drummond Street

Associate Professor Christy Newman, University of New South Wales

Project length

2 years