I am in a same sex relationship

My partner consistently puts me down and makes me feel worthless.
I am concerned about the way things are going in my relationship.
I don’t think other people will understand.

You are not alone
If you are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual you can also experience domestic violence in your relationships.

Does this sound familiar?
Does your partner:

  • threaten to ‘out’ you to friends, family, police, church or employer to get you to do what they want
  • tell you that you will lose custody of your children as a result of being ‘outed’
  • say that the police will not help you because the legal justice system is homophobic
  • excuse violence or abusive by saying it’s normal within gay relationships?

(Astor 1996; Vickers 1996; National Coalition of Anti Violence Programs; 2001).
This is domestic violence and it is NOT OK.

Violence in a relationship is unacceptable and is not your fault.
People who are gay, bisexual or transgender often find they have extra challenges to overcome when identifying or ending domestic violence in their lives. You might be worried about asking for help because:

  • you have experienced homophobia in the past from your community or from services that are supposed to help
  • communities of gay and lesbian people in Adelaide are small and you are worried about losing friends or being embarrassed
  • people have told you that your experiences of violence are just a normal part of being gay, bisexual or transgender
  • you have not told many people in your life about your relationship and are afraid that if you ask for help you will be ‘outted’.

(Information adapted from http://www.domesticviolence.nsw.gov.au, and http://www.austdvclearinghouse.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/Gay_Lesbian.pdf)
You have the RIGHT to be safe and you have a right to be supported by services and people in your community WITHOUT DESCRIMINATION!
Domestic violence is not a part of any loving relationship and is not an acceptable part of a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person’s life.


What can I do?

If you are in immediate danger call the police on 000.
If you are experiencing domestic violence you can talk to someone for support or information. Domestic violence support workers are trained to understand what might be happening for you and services that can help.
If you need to talk to someone about domestic or family violence:

  • 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
    24 hour service
  • Southern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service
    (08) 8382 0066
    Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm
  • Ninko Kurtangga Patpangga
    (08) 8297 9644
    Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm

You can also ask for help from your GP, Centrelink social worker or any other place you trust such as a Community Centre or Children’s Centre. Click here for information on people who can help.
If you want to leave a situation of domestic or family violence and have nowhere to go you can contact DV Gateway 1800 800 098. The Gateway will offer support, assess your situation and work with you to find alternative accommodation in a safe area. If you are ringing after 5pm or on the weekend you will reach the Homelessness Gateway and you need to say that you are experiencing domestic violence and you are not safe in your home. They will help you get the help you need. Contact the police for help and protection for yourself and your children to remove the perpetrator or leave a situation.


Services for me

Another Closet – Domestic Violence in Same Sex Relationships
Website: www.anothercloset.com.au

Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of SA Inc
Phone: (08) 8362 3223

Southern Women’s – Noarlunga Health Service
Phone: (08) 8384 9555
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9am–5pm (after hours appointments by negotiation)


What about my children?
If you have children in your care they need to be safe too. Domestic violence has a significant impact on children of all ages, whether they witness the actual violence or not. For information on children and violence click here, and on the legal rights for you and your children click here.

For advice on how to manage the legal and financial impacts of leaving a violent relationship and to find out more about your rights and where you can get help here.