There are lots of reasons why understanding homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is important for outing violence in Rainbow relationships and communities.
- There are few relationship role models for Rainbow people so it’s hard to know what a healthy relationship looks like
- Rainbow relationships are seen as less “legitimate”
- Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from our families often makes Rainbow people more isolated, especially when we are younger or having our first relationships
- Because homophobia, biphobia and transphobia teach Rainbow people there is something wrong with us, they can increase both the self-blame of the survivor and blame from others
- The survivor, in many situations, will have the same support systems as the person using abusive behaviour
- Forms of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia often form part of abuse
Related to this, there is a lack of services for Rainbow people
Mainstream services responding to partner and sexual violence are overwhelmingly set up to respond to men’s violence against women and are not always perceived as or able to be culturally appropriate for many in Rainbow communities.
- Services may assume heterosexuality and/or that someone is cis
- The problem of screening – who is the abuser and who is the survivor – how do we make sure the right person is getting the right service?
- There is a greater likelihood of no arrest or dual arrest and no protection order or dual protection orders when calling the police or going through courts
It’s not seen as a Rainbow issue
All of these things combine to make it difficult for Rainbow communities to recognise partner and sexual violence as a Rainbow issue. When you already feel like your relationships are under scrutiny, it can be much harder to look at violence and abuse.
This lack of understanding means people may not:
- Believe it happens in Rainbow relationships;
- Recognise abuse as partner or sexual violence if it does happen to them and/or
- Know how to respond if they see partner or sexual violence in friends or family members’ lives
One of the reasons for this is that some of the forms of violence can take look different for Rainbow people. Check out our factsheets to read more about Rainbow specific forms of violence, and our definitions of homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and more.