Researcher calls for GLBTI anti-violence training

Published: October 3, 2011

MELBOURNE: A Melbourne-based researcher and authority on domestic violence in GLBTI relationships has called for the provision of GLBTI sensitivity training in Victoria to encourage reporting of domestic violence.

William Leonard is a researcher with the La Trobe University’s resource Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria and has been involved in examining domestic violence in GLBTI relationships.

His research revealed nearly one-third of Victorian GLBTI people had been in a relationship in which they experienced abuse from their partner. Only 14 per cent had reported it to the police and 13 per cent were still in the violent relationship.

Last week’s Footscray Star newspaper carried a report of gay man ‘Tom’ [not his real name], who lives in the western suburbs and is in a violent domestic relationship but is not ready to report it or even acknowledge it.

A friend of the man, Craig, told the newspaper that Tom suffers punching, shoving, biting, slapping, scratching and yelling and that his partner checks his emails, texts and Facebook page and even controls what he wears and who he speaks to.

“All the campaigns are of women, there’s the line, Violence against Women, Australia says no,” Craig said.

“The expectation is a guy can defend himself against another guy, whereas a woman, stereotypically, can’t.”

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