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  • Writer's pictureMagnetic Community News

Register now for free LGBTQ+ domestic violence prevention presentation

Registrations to a free presentation to identify and help end domestic and family violence in LGBTQ+ relationships are now open.

Townsville City Council is partnering with LGBTQ DV Awareness Foundation founder Ben Bjarnesen to deliver the public presentation on Wednesday April 20.

Townsville has an estimated 14,000 residents who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ communities.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chairperson Ann-Maree Greaney said the presentation would shine a light on the realities of domestic violence outside of heterosexual relationships.

“Domestic and family violence is a significant issue in Townsville and it is essential that everyone is aware of the shapes domestic violence can take, including its impact on people in the LGBTQ+ communities,” Cr Greaney said.

“As a White Ribbon accredited organisation, Council has made a commitment to say no to domestic and family violence through providing resources and educational programs.

“Ben Bjarnesen is a police officer who has personal experience with domestic violence in a same-sex relationship. As a 2016 Churchill Fellow, Ben travelled to North America and Europe to explore new ways police departments can respond to domestic violence in LGBTQ+ communities.

“Ben’s insights and guidance through the workshops will be valuable to help identify domestic and family violence and pathways to seek help either for yourself or for a loved one who is experiencing violence in their relationship.”

Cr Greaney said Ben would also be presenting to two other key groups in Townsville.

“Council has worked with Ben to arrange three sessions about domestic and family violence in LGBTQ+ relationships – one for university students and staff, one for organisations who support people living with domestic and family violence and another for members of the public to attend,” she said.

“The public sessions will be ideal for people in LGBTQ+ communities, as well as family members and people who work with members of the LGBTQ+ communities.”

Townsville District Officer, Superintendent Chris Lawson said domestic and family violence touched people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

“Queensland Police are committed to working with our partner agencies and those in LGBTQ+ communities to ensure people affected by domestic and family violence have the courage and confidence to speak up and report these incidents,” Supt Lawson said.

“I appeal to anyone who is experiencing domestic and family violence or suspects it is happening, please report it.

“Only by working together can we reduce the scourge of domestic and family violence on our community. Not now, not ever, together.”

To register for the public session, head to Council’s website.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or family violence contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or DV Connect on 1800 811 811 for women or 1800 600 636 for men. Non-binary people can call either service and identify as non-binary at the start of the call.

In life-threatening emergencies call Queensland Police on triple-0.

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