There are some factors which are unique to the experience of family violence for LGBTIQ people in rural, regional and outer-metropolitan areas. These include:
- Lack of LGBTIQ appropriate and responsive counselling or legal services available in the local area;
- Fears about confidentiality breaches;
- Physical isolation making it hard to contact friends, family, neighbours or services;
- The fear of encountering discrimination from local services.
The limited size and close-knit nature of LGBTIQ communities, especially in smaller cities and rural, regional and remote areas, can be a significant barrier for a victim/survivor to seek help. For example, they may feel embarrassed about the abuse or an abusive partner may try to turn others in the community against them. A perpetrator may isolate the victim/survivor from LGBTIQ communities. For example, preventing them from reading LGBTIQ media, attending LGBTIQ venues or events, or seeing LGBTIQ friends. This is especially true for people in their first LGBTIQ relationship, as they may not have had much contact with the LGBTIQ communities before the relationship began.
Some strategies which can make seeking help easier for people experiencing family violence in rural, regional and remote areas might include supporting a person to:
- develop a comprehensive, LGBTIQ-aware Safety Plan
- seek the support of a few trusted friends or services, even if they are outside the area
- seek services in neighbouring towns or regional centres.