Quick Exit

DV Work Aware for LGBTIQA+ Employees

This information may be useful to assist people in the workplace who identify as being:

  • transgender, gender diverse, asexual, intersex, queer & more;
  • in non heterosexual relationships (lesbian, gay, bisexual);

and who are fearful of experiencing relationship abuse and violence from a current or ex-partner which is also impacting on them at work.

It also provides information and referrals to appropriate services for work colleagues and managers when someone who identifies as gender, sex or sexuality diverse discloses an experience of abuse or violence in their relationship or family.

Being transgender or gender diverse relates to gender; having intersex variations relates to sex; and being lesbian, gay, bisexual etc relates to sexuality.

‘It’s hard enough trying to come out at work without having to talk about the abuse in my relationship’. (Client of WWC)

‘If I disclose to my boss that I need more time off because of the violence from my partner I’ll have to also disclose I’m in a same sex relationship. It will just feed in to my manager’s clear homophobia. It doesn’t feel safe for me.’ (Participant comment following training program)

‘One of my staff arrived at work very distraught last week. They disclosed that they had problems in their relationship and had been up all night as they were too scared to go to sleep. They came to work to be safe.  I made a lot of assumptions about their partner and got it all wrong. My efforts to support didn’t go well. I wish I’d done some homework and at the very least made a decent referral to an appropriate service for them.’ (Manager in DFV Work Aware training program)

It is unlawful to be treated without the same respect and dignity because of your relationship status, sexuality or gender.

CALD and Rural / Regional LGBTIQA+ people

Unique challenges also face LGBTIQA+ people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background (CALD) and also those living in remote and rural areas.

  • LGBTIQA+ people in CALD communities may not be able to go to family and friends for support if being LGBT+ is not recognised or is actively forbidden by their culture.
  • CALD LGBTIQA+ people may be distrusting of the police or government organisations because of their experiences in their country of origin
  • LGBTIQA+ community/support may be very small or non-existent in rural and remote areas

What is domestic and family violence?

Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) is a pattern of abusive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship where the perpetrator has power and control over the victim. Intimate relationships can be diverse in nature. DFV can take many different forms including intimidation, coercion or isolation, emotional, physical, sexual, financial and spiritual abuse. If you are fearful or feel scared of a partner, ex-partner whatever their gender or however they identify, or a family member, you may be experiencing DFV.

One in three Australian women and one in five Australian men will experience DFV in their lifetime. (Our Watch)

Domestic and Family Violence is an issue for everyone.
DFV is also a workplace issue for everyone.
DFV can affect a person’s safety, mental health, and work attendance performance and concentration.

More specific statistics on DFV in non-heterosexual relationships and DFV experienced by people who are transgender, gender diverse, intersex can be found in these links:

Australian Institute of Family Studies: Intimate partner violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer communities

Domestic Violence in the Transgender Community

Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse: Domestic Violence in Gay and Lesbian Relationships


On this website we use the acronym LGBTIQA+ to refer collectively and inclusively to people of diverse sexualities, and genders, and intersex people. This includes people who may or may not identify as LGBTIQA+ or as being in an exclusively same-sex, bisexual, pansexual or heterosexual relationship.

We refer you to the website of Another Closet for a full explanation of terms used in relation to identity, sexual orientation, gender, sexuality, lived body experience and relationships. Our aim in discussing violence and abuse in LGBTIQ relationships is to be respectful and inclusive.

Domestic and family violence can be part of any relationship.

See our resources pages for more information on where to seek support.

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