The story behind LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

Our Aim 

The LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Foundation was established with the aim of:

  • Helping end domestic, family and intimate partner violence and abuse (DFV) within LGBTQ communities, by increasing visibility through an annual awareness campaign.

  • Advocating for and supporting the empowerment of LGBTQ victims and survivors of DFV.

  • Collaborating with other organisations to help reduce barriers to reporting violence, accessing support services and creating safe and inclusive experiences for LGBTQ victims and survivors of DFV.

  • Providing targeted information and resources to support workplaces, educational institutions and the broader community observe annual LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day campaigns.

The Statistics

Recent studies have demonstrated that up to 62% of LGBTIQ+ people have experienced DV in their relationships, yet awareness of the issue and reporting rates are still incredibly low.  The "Sorting it Out" report recently found that as few as 5.3% of victims were reporting domestic violence to Police.

Founder, Ben Bjarnesen 

“It’s so important that people from LGBTI communities know that help is available for them, that they don’t have to live with abuse and that everyone, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, deserves to live a life free from violence and abuse.”

“On May 28, tell your friends, family and LGBTI communities that you’re here for them and help raise awareness, remember the victims who’ve lost their lives, and support those in abusive relationships and those that have survived” 

Beck O’Connor
DVConnect CEO
Vice-President of LGBTQ DV Awareness Foundation

“All relationships, across diverse genders, sexualities and bodies deserve to enjoy relationships that are free from domestic, family and sexual violence.

“We are committed to listening to the voices of those with lived experience and we see this LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness day as an incredible opportunity to continue learning how to support, empower and actively reduce their barriers to safety.”

Message from The Prime Minister 

The Honourable Scott Morrison MP

Supporters of LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day

The Honourable Scott Morrison MP

 Prime Minister of Australia

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO
Former Governor-General of Australia

His Excellency The Honourable
Paul de Jersey AC

Governor of Queensland 

Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC
Governor of Tasmania

His Excellency 

The Honourable Kim Beazley AC 
Governor of Western Australia

The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Premier of Queensland

Katarina Carroll APM
Queensland Police Service

Neil Paterson APM
Deputy Commissioner
Victoria Police 

Gelina Talbot APM
Assistant Commissioner
NSW Police Force

Councillor Adrian Schrinner
Lord Mayor of Brisbane

Bob Atkinson AO APM
Co-Chair, Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Council

Kay McGrath OAM 
Co-Chair, Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Council

Ro Allen 
Gender & Equality
Victoria State Government

Trevor Evans MP
Federal Member for Brisbane 

Urzila Carlson
Award winning comedian, actor and author. 

Paul Zahra
CEO, Australian Retail Association

Benjamin Law
riter & Broadcaster

Shelley Argent OAM
National Spokesperson 

Pat Abboud
Journalist, Broadcaster & Documentary Maker

“Congratulations to our LGBTI community on creating a special day, 28 May to raise awareness about the vitally important work that must be done by every one to prevent domestic and family violence. Each one of us must ask ourselves 'what can I, me, myself do to help this urgent cause; in my workplace, at home, in my sporting club, at my school, in my neighbourhood....'. We must never back away from our ambition of zero tolerance.”

The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO

"During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month each year, we are reminded of the shocking statistics, but few are aware that, hidden behind those raw numbers and percentages is a darker story – unreported abuse in LGBTIQ+ relationships."
"With its hash-tag, #ImHereForYou, this much-needed awareness strategy will help to dispel public misconceptions around abuse in LGBTIQ+ relationships. At the same time, it will make victims aware that help is available and that they need not suffer trauma, fear and prejudice in silence." 

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC
Governor of Queensland  

“Acknowledging the importance of the role gender inequality in understanding intimate partner violence must not blind us to the fact that male perpetrator/female victim is not the only model of domestic violence. In fact rates of violence in LGBTI communities are at least equal to rates in heterosexual relationships. Efforts and resources to end family violence must recognise this.”

Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner AC
Governor of Tasmania

"I am honoured to have been asked to provide a message of support for the inaugural LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day, and I congratulate all involved in marking this day in our yearly calendars. 
Domestic violence statistics in Australia are alarmingly high, and these rates have increased through the recent restrictions caused by COVID-19.

I am aware that at all times these reported rates often exclude those people in the LGBTI community and that the reporting rates of this group are significantly lower. That is why this day is such an important opportunity to raise awareness and offer support, hope and encouragement to victims of domestic violence that they need not suffer in silence.

#IamHereForYou to help raise awareness to put an end to domestic violence in the LGBTI community."

His Excellency The Honourable Kim Beazley AC 

Governor of Western Australia

"Everyone deserves a life free from violence and abuse"

"The Queensland Government is committed to putting a stop to domestic and family violence across Queensland, including in our LGBTIQ+ communities."

"Our commitment is being expressed simply yet powerfully on LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day on May 28"

"I'm here for you - the Queensland Government is here for you.  Thought the domestic & family violence reform program we continue to strengthen our commitment to ending this type of violence in Queensland."

The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP
Premier of Queensland

"Domestic Violence across Asutralia is something that all Police are passionate about addressing.  We know that LGBTI people experience high levels of domestic violence, yet we suffer from low levels of reporting.  I want to recognise those among us who are survivors of domestic violence and also remember those who have lost their lives.  #ImHereForYou to help stamp out domestic violence in LGBTIQ communities because everyone deserves to live a life free from violence."

Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson APM
Victoria Police

“There is no time left to wait, to prevent domestic violence of any kind. Every day we are silent, is another day that another person dealing with abuse suffers, another day their life is at risk.  We know that Australian police deal with at least 650 domestic violence matters on average every day of the year. That’s one every two minutes. But what many of us may not know is that around 1 in 3 gay or LGBTQI couples experience domestic violence too. Physical abuse between same sex couples is being referred to as a silent epidemic in the gay community right now. Too often cases go unreported and people in desperate need of help are being overlooked. If that’s you, if you’re struggling to get out of a situation that’s putting you in harms way, just know that no matter how scary it might feel to reach out, know you can reach out and #ImHereForYou. We are all here for you." 

Pat Abboud
Journalist, Broadcaster & Documentary Maker

“I’m really keen to use the #ImHereForYou campaign to say, let’s be there and provide safe places for people,” 

“We can’t afford one invisible victim in our community. Let’s find ways to value each other to prevent abuse and heal abuse."

“It’s a real tragedy that people who set out on a journey to love each other could end up not valuing each other, controlling each other, being violent to each other."

“We need to find ways to say, how can we value ourselves and value each other? To me, abuse is the absence of love. Healing and prevention comes from restoring love.”

Doctor Wendell Rosevear OAM 
Queensland Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Council

"We're currently seeing how Australians can come together in challenging times. Let's extend that sense of connection and support to those in the LGBTI community. May 28 is LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day, a time to focus on the rights for everyone, no matter what gender, sexuality, religion, colour or circumstance, to feel safe - especially at home. Thanks for shining a light and bringing hope to those who need it."

Kay McGrath OAM
Co-Chair, Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Council

"#ImHereForYou to demonstrate that there are people that will support you everywhere, even in the places that you least expect.”

Sergeant Mick Gardiner 
Explosive Ordinance Response Team
Queensland Police Service

“My thanks for the opportunity to support the inaugural LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day on the 28th May. We all have a right to be safe and free from abuse in any form at all times but especially in our personal relationships."

Bob Atkinson AO APM
Co-Chair, Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council 

“The high rate of domestic violence in the LGBTIQ+ community and the low level of reporting to authorities is a disturbing fact. I am sending a message of love, support and hope to the families of those who have lost loved ones, to the victims and survivors of domestic violence”.

Paul Zahra
CEO, Australian Retailers Association 
Chair of the Board of Directors of The Pinnacle Foundation

"Domestic violence in this community is something that is very hidden and a lot of people in the LGBTIQ community who experience domestic violence are very hesitant to speak about it. It’s something that we should never be ashamed to talk about, it should not be seen as an embarrassment, it is something that happens and something that we need to recognise as a real issue."

Shelley Argent OAM
National Spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) 

“Dykes On Bikes acknowledges the strength of the survivors and supports those still living with domestic violence to come forward and speak out. Let’s start to end LGBTQI domestic violence!”

Julz Raven
President, Dykes on Bikes Queensland 

Message from the Governor of Queensland 

Message from the Governor of Western Australia 

Message from the Premier of Queensland 

Message from the Lord Mayor of Brisbane


Yahoo News


Queensland Police Service

Star Observer

A Modern Gay's Guide

Out in Perth

Ex Press (NZ)

3KND Radio


Gay Nation (NZ) 



Find out more information about Domestic and Family Violence in LGBTIQ+ communities and where to get help and further resources.

Thanks to the Brisbane City Council for allowing us the opportunity to light up the Story Bridge in recognition of LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day