BullyingA report has been released by the Human Rights Commission highlighting high levels of violence experienced by LGBT Australians.

Together with a recent high profile bashing of a member of the transgender community, it provides a stark reminder of the need for LGBT people to remain vigilant against homophobic and transphobic violence, according to HIV and LGBT health organisation ACON.

According to the report, more than 70 per cent of LGBT people have been attacked, bullied or harassed. The report also says that two thirds of LGBT people are not comfortable revealing their sexuality in the workplace.

Commenting, Nicolas Parkhill, ACON CEO, said, “While there has been significant movement and change in regards to social attitudes and laws around the LGBT community, this report reinforces the evidence that discrimination and violence perpetrated against our community is widespread and requires urgent action by governments at state and federal levels.

“Stigma, violence and discrimination continue to have a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of members of our community. LGBT Australians experience higher levels of both mental health issues and substance use than the general population, and suicide among young LGBT people is up to 14 times the national average.

“We all have a right to be safe and we feel the release of the report, as well as the recent incident in Newtown, serve as reminders for our community members to always consider their safety. Homophobic and transphobic violence can take many forms, such as threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, harassment, physical assault, sexual assault, property damage or theft. If any of our community members ever feel threatened, we recommend they report the incident to us or the police.”

Report An Incident To Police: 

If it’s an emergency always call Triple Zero (000). If it’s not urgent, call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. You can also make an anonymous call without giving your name by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Report An Incident To ACON: 

We take reports of homophobic and transphobic violence to help victims get support and advocate for improved security measures for our community. All reports are confidential.Call (02) 9206 2000 or visit www.acon.org.au

Safety Tips

  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right get away. You may not be right about the situation but it is better to be safe.
  • If you feel unsafe seek support or assistance from Police, a venue, business, taxi, bus or another person.
  • Stay alert for homophobic or transphobic signals like comments or behaviour.
  • Travel to and from and event/venue with a friend or by taxi.
  • Have your house or car keys ready before you get to your door.
  • Take care of and look out for your friends. Put them in a taxi if need be.

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