Lesbian & Transgender
West Connect acknowledges lesbian, transgender and intersex women require individualised, sensitive support. We acknowledge that the LGBQTI community experience obstacles and barriers in everyday life and even more so when it comes to discussing or obtaining support around partner abuse.
Domestic Violence occurs when one partner attempts, by physical or psychological means, to dominate or gain control over anothers life. As with heterosexual abuse, lesbian domestic violence is not an isolated incident of violence. It is an ongoing, systematic controlling of one partner by another. Additional to the list of behaviour listed in the Domestic Violence page the perpetrator of abuse in a lesbian relationship may use tactics such as threatening to ‘out’ their partner to employers or others that a woman has chosen not to discuss her sexuality with as a way of controlling her. Sometimes lesbians feel they are unable to seek help, fearing homophobia. West Connect is committed to providing understanding, non-judgemental, lesbian-appropriate services.
“She was a bit possessive when we got together. She said it was because she loved me so much. I was flattered at first. I’d never had anyone pay me that much attention. It got bad quickly… She was obsessed! She would check my mobile phone to see who I’d been talking to. I found out she had followed me to work every day without me knowing. I started getting scared, so I thought it was time to get some advice.”
Transgender clients can be assured of the same quality service. The only requirement for accommodation and support is that a woman identifies and lives as a woman and is experiencing or escaping domestic violence.
“When I told someone I worked with that my boyfriend had hit me, she didn’t take me seriously. She said that since I’m ‘really a man’, that it was a fair fight. She asked me if I hit him back. I was horrified. It took me ages to ever open up about the abuse again.”