New film and website puts spotlight on violence in LGBTIQ relationships

Rhys Keir and Jemwel Danao feature in Red FlagsHelping LGBTIQ people understand the early warning signs of domestic violence is the focus of a new film featuring Logie Award winning actor Brenna Harding. Produced by ACON, Red Flags is a short film that explores how the warning signs of domestic violence can appear early in a relationship.

The film charts the lives of two couples – one lesbian and one gay – as the impact of threats, manipulation and violence creeps into their lives. Brenna Harding (Puberty Blues, A Place To Call Home) stars alongside Jemwel Danao, Diana Popovska and Rhys Keir. The film was written and directed by David Burrowes and produced by Joel Hagen, and made possible with funding from the NSW Government.

Launching alongside the film is ACON’s new domestic and family violence (DFV) website: Say It Out Loud. The website provides information, support and resources to address abuse in LGBTIQ relationships as well as information about what a healthy relationship looks like and tips on how to have one.

ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says the LGBTIQ community faces a range of specific challenges in relation to DFV and added that DFV in the LGBTIQ community mirrors the types and levels of DFV in the broader community, with one in three lesbian and gay people in NSW having experienced DFV in their current or in a previous relationship.

“We know that the physical, emotional and personal costs of DFV in our communities are often the same as they are for heterosexual people. However there are some unique aspects experienced by LGBTIQ people,” said Mr Parkhill.

“DFV in the LGBTIQ community doesn’t always look the same as in heterosexual relationships, and so LGBTIQ people don’t always recognise it. Also, the language and framework used around this issue and much of the media publicity also relates to heterosexual relationships, making violence in homosexual relationships invisible.”

“Because of this many LGBTIQ people suffer in isolation and don’t feel comfortable to report abuse or seek help from support services. There is also the added fear for many victims that the abusive partner will ‘out’ them to family, friends, or work colleagues, or reveal their HIV status.”

“We hope the new film and website will help in raising awareness about the issue of abuse and violence in LGBTIQ relationships as well as help LGBTIQ people experiencing DFV to get the information and support they need to look after themselves,” added Mr Parkhill.

ACON’s work in relation to DFV addresses both the rates of domestic violence in the LGBTIQ community and the gap in service provision to LGBTIQ people who have experienced abuse.

For more information about domestic and family violence in LGBTIQ communities, or to watch the film Red Flags, visit: for details.

Image: Rhys Keir and Jemwel Danao feature in Red Flags (production still)