The patterns, effects and impacts of LGBTIQ domestic and family violence in rural, regional and remote areas share many similarities to metropolitan areas. However there are a number of factors that are unique to the experience of domestic and family violence in outer-metropolitan areas. These include:
- there may be few support or legal services available in the local area;
- it may be difficult to maintain privacy and confidentiality;
- physical isolation may make it difficult to contact friends, family, neighbours or services; or
- the fear (real or perceived) that someone seeking help may encounter homophobia, transphobia or discrimination from services.
There are a number of strategies that someone experiencing domestic and family violence in rural, regional and remote areas can use to make seeking help easier. They include:
- developing a comprehensive Safety Plan;
- seeking the support of a few trusted friends or services, even if they are outside the area;
- seeking services in neighbouring towns or regional centres;
- talking with specialist state-wide services, for example the Safe Relationships Project (1800 244 481), ACON (02 9206 2000) or The Gender Centre (1800 069 115);
- talking to a trained trauma specialist counsellor 1800 RESPECT (1800 7373 732) available 24/7 anywhere in Australia;
- make contact with QLife, the national LGBTIQ phone and online counselling service which is available 5.30pm-10.30pm every evening. They can offer support and can help connect people to local groups. Go to www.qlife.org.au or phone 1800 184 527; or
- accessing services and information via the internet - see Finding Information, Help & Support.