Using arts based initiatives to address LGBTI DFV as a social justice and human rights issue.

Stream: Gendered Constructions: Critical Assessment and Tools for Change
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2015
Time: 11.00 am – 12.45 pm


Knowledge of LGBTI domestic and family violence (DFV) within Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities, as well as within the broader domestic violence sector, is evolving in Australia. However the often lack of awareness of LGBTI DFV, knowing where to seek help, or how to provide support creates significant ongoing challenges. For the DFV sector this includes staff awareness and skills, access to referral options or existing service capacity. For LGBTI communities this includes knowing the unique nature of LGBTI DFV, how it’s personally relevant, where to go for help, fear of homophobic/transphobic responses from services or police, lack of family support, or shame and embarrassment. These challenges combine to illustrate an often complex landscape of issues, needs and responses. ACON’s Anti-Violence Project aims to strengthen LGBTI communities by increasing community awareness of DFV and contributing to appropriate professional responses. This paper explores the roles of a range of arts based initiatives (such as theatre storytelling, video projects and community Q&A initiatives) that we have utilised to highlight the specific issues experienced by LGBTI people. To what extent does the transformative nature of arts based initiatives contribute to addressing LGBTI DFV as a social justice and human rights issue?


Robert Knapman (Presenter), ACON
Robert Knapman has worked in the Australian human services for over 20 years. This includes within the HIV/AIDS, youth, men’s behaviour change, domestic and family violence, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) health sectors. Robert is currently the Team Leader of ACON’s Anti-Violence Project (AVP) based in Sydney which oversees New South Wales statewide and regional initiatives. ACON is New South Wales’ leading health promotion organisation specialising in HIV and LGBTI health. The AVP support people experiencing homophobic, transphobic, domestic and family violence and seeks to build safer LGBTI communities.