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

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posted on 2022-09-07, 06:16 authored by Shane WorrellShane Worrell, Jackson Fairchild, Carolyn Gillespie, Alyssha Fooks, Stephanie LusbyStephanie Lusby, Marina CarmanMarina Carman, Libby Jamieson, Adam BourneAdam 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.

Published alongside this report is the accompanying Practice guide: Lessons from pandemic-driven LGBTIQ+ family violence service innovations. This practice guide presents the lessons from service innovation during COVID-19 and how these can be used for the benefit of LGBTIQ+ and family violence services in future.



  • School of Psychology and Public Health

Publication Date


Type of report

  • Public sector research report


La Trobe University

Place of publication

Bundoora, Australia





Rights Statement

© ARCSHS, La Trobe University 2022. This report may be downloaded for personal use only. Permission to reproduce this report must be sought from La Trobe University. Copies of this report or any other publications from this project may be obtained by contacting Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) T (03) 9479 8700.