Responsive pandemic practice

LGBTIQ+ family violence service innovation in Victoria during COVID-19


Shane Worrell, Jackson Fairchild, Carolyn Gillespie, Alyssha Fooks, Stephanie Lusby, Marina Carman, Libby Jamieson, Adam Bourne

LGBTIQ+ family violence services in Victoria, Australia, underwent a significant transformation due to the impacts of COVID-19. Responsive pandemic practice explores how two LGBTIQ+ community-controlled organisations responded to the suspension of most in-person family violence services in 2020. Thorne Harbour Health and Switchboard Victoria, through its Rainbow Door helpline, were responsive to the needs of clients during the pandemic, rapidly introducing remote service delivery practice and telehealth options.

This report demonstrates that as demand for services grew during lockdowns, the two organisations innovated to prevent further family violence service interruptions. This provided crucial support to victim survivors, such as those living with a perpetrator, and improved access for many clients in regional or rural Victoria. Lessons learnt from this rapid service innovation during COVID-19 might help inform future responses to LGBTIQ+ family violence during public health emergencies and the use of technology as part of hybrid service models.

Responsive pandemic practice: LGBTIQ+ family violence service innovation in Victoria during COVID-19 report

Practice guide:Lessons from pandemic-driven LGBTIQ+ family violence service innovations

Associated publications

Researchers at ARCSHS are working on more academic publications from the Responsive pandemic practice project. They will feature here as they are published.

Partners & Funding

Responsive pandemic practice was produced as part of a research partnership between the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University (ARCSHS), Thorne Harbour Health and Switchboard Victoria, with funding from Family Safety Victoria.

text 'thorne harbour health' with a red asterisk. The last two letters of 'health' are in red. grid of nine brightly coloured circles, with the bottom right one a speech bubble reminiscent of a letter Q, and the text 'switchboard Orange gradient butterfly with stripe design and the text 'family safety victoria