Towards a Safe Place: Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in LGBTIQA+ Communities (resource)

Catalyst Foundation, 2019

The Towards a Safe Place project has created resources for LGBTIQA+ communities to use both as individuals or in communities to support and inform at risk individuals of available services and supports in relation to Domestic Violence and to increase awareness and understanding of Domestic Violence and its impact within LGBTIQA+ communities.

We have worked closely with LGBTIQA+ communities to develop these resources and are thankful for the help and support of our Reference Group comprising individuals, community organisations and service providers who have helped us in the development of these resources.

We hope the resources are used to inform and support at risk individuals and the wider community on LGBTIQA+ specific Domestic Violence and that service providers use the resources to continually develop and improve service responses and avenues for reporting domestic violence.

Training in culturally appropriate LGBTIQA+ domestic violence service delivery and response strategies is available and has been developed in partnership with Uniting Communities Adelaide’s Bfriend Project and a local LGBTIQA+ social group Pride of the South. If your organisation would like information on the training please contact us on (08) 81688700 or by email 

The project was supported by South Australian Government Attorney-General’s  Department, Bfriend (Uniting Communities) and Pride of the South.

Resources to download:

 

One in six Australian women experience abuse before they are 15, data shows

Damning new data about Australia’s rates of domestic and sexual violence reveal that one in six women experience abuse before they are 15 and one woman is killed by her partner every nine days.

Based on national population surveys and set against a backdrop of declines in overall violence, rates of partner violence and sexual violence have remained relatively stable since 2005, a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows.

New digital resource on revenge po*rn & cyberbullying in SA

The Law Society, 2 November 2016

The Law Society and University of Adelaide have launched a new digital cyberbullying resource which deals with new revenge porn laws that came into force in SA on Friday.

A cyberbullying section has been added to the app Out of Bounds (previously called The Naked Truth), which also explains the laws surrounding unlawful sexual intercourse and sexting.

The new cyberbullying section provides a snapshot of South Australian and Federal laws that can apply to a range of cyberbullying activities, including revenge porn, trolling, and stalking. It also features a graphic novel style narrative about a school student who has been subject to cyber abuse, and the devastating ramifications for both the victim and the perpetrators involved.

The cyberbullying section is a natural extension of the app, said Law Society President David Caruso.

“As well as adding an extensive cyberbullying section, we’ve updated the sexting section of the app to reflect new laws which criminalise revenge porn,” Mr Caruso said.

“Sexting can quickly turn from digital flirting to bullying. Cyberbullying in all its forms is a particularly insidious and devastating form of victimisation. It is impossible to escape, it emboldens more people to demean others under the veil of anonymity, and the vitriol and humiliation can spread far wider and quicker than traditional ‘schoolyard’ bullying.”

“The South Australian Government ought to be commended for acknowledging this and strengthening laws against revenge porn. In saying this, we still see scope for further law reform that reduces the risk of teenagers facing child pornography charges for naïve but innocent behaviour, while maintaining a zero tolerance approach to sexual predators.

“Of course, laws can only do so much – the key is education.”

University of Adelaide law lecturer Dr Colette Langos, who collaborated with the Law Society on the app, said: “Many young people regard sexting as a common behaviour, so it is especially important to make sure they understand where ‘a bit of fun between friends’ crosses the line and becomes unlawful conduct.”

“Evidence-based research informs us that non-consensual behaviour in the form of cyberbullying or ‘revenge porn’ has the potential to harm a victim in a profound manner given the public humiliation which follows distribution of the image online. Law reform in this area may better protect victims.”

Dr Langos said the new law enables police to charge a person under the age of 17 years with a non-indictable offence of ‘distribution of an invasive image’ rather than charging a young person under the child pornography legislation. The new laws also make it an offence to threaten to distribute an invasive image.

“There is a big distinction between abhorrent, predatory conduct and conduct which frequently, and sometimes regrettably, occurs between young people without predatory intent,” Dr Langos said.

Mr Caruso said: “This app is not designed to scare young people into changing their behaviour. It aims to explain the law in a digestible and interactive way to help young people make informed decisions. Many teenagers, and older people for that matter, are not aware of the legal boundaries regarding sexual behaviour and online communication.”

– Download the Out of Bounds app on your Apple Device
– Download the Out of Bounds app on your Android device
– Visit the Out of Bounds webpage

Source

Why are reports of domestic violence often framed around the alleged perpetrator’s story?

Daily Life,

In its recently updated guidelines on family and domestic violence reporting, the Australian Press Council urges that words matter: “Publications should be mindful of the language they use and try to avoid terms that tend to trivialise, demean or inadvertently excuse family violence, such as ‘a domestic’, a ‘domestic dispute’ or ‘a troubled marriage’.”

With that in mind, framing the alleged domestic homicide of a woman by the hand of her husband as a “tragedy” instead of a violent and deliberate choice is unacceptable.

  • Read more here
  • Access Advisory Guideline on Family & Domestic Violence Reporting (PDF) here

The women abandoned to their online abusers

Guardian, 11 April 2016

They face harassment including death threats and racist abuse. Why are social media sites and police unable or unwilling to tackle the problem?

For the past 16 months, Suzanne Fernandes has been targeted online with racial abuse, pornography and death threats. The two individuals she believes are responsible share many similarities: an interest in far-right politics, an ability to create multiple anonymous fake social media accounts, and past convictions for extreme internet harassment. After making 126 crime reports to the British police and numerous reports to Twitter and Facebook, Fernandes feels destroyed and defeated.

Revelations about the continued activities of the two men comes as the police in England and Wales admit that the scale of harassment, threats and abuse online threatens to overwhelm them. As the internet is borderless, so is the abuse.

Read more here