This report contains the findings from a series of six consultations that Shift conducted throughout Alberta to better understand risk factors related to domestic violence victimization and perpetration within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities, as well as barriers to help-seeking. A total of 81 individuals from across Alberta were involved in the consultations, including representatives from the LGBTQ communities, the domestic violence sector, health services, school systems and law enforcement. Participants agreed that there is a need for improved capacity among government and community-based organizations to provide better services to LGBTQ victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. In particular, many participants noted that a lack of appropriate and informed services presents a significant barrier to LGBTQ individuals who are trying to exit unhealthy relationships and/or violent circumstances. Domestic violence service providers themselves acknowledged the limitations of their knowledge about the unique experiences of LGBTQ individuals; however, these providers also demonstrated a genuine desire to learn about, and improve, the provision of care to prevent domestic violence within the LGBTQ community. Specific recommendations directed at the Government of Alberta and community-based agencies are included.
A big thanks go to our community partners, Pam Krause, CEO of the Calgary Sexual Health Centre and Brandi Kapell, LGBTQ*1 program coordinator at Peer Support Services. Both have contributed their expertise in guiding the direction of this work, and their time to conducting the consultations with Brian Hansen throughout Alberta. Our thanks also go out to the individuals from across Alberta who participated in these consultations as their feedback is invaluable to creating a safer Alberta. Shift would also like to acknowledge those who helped compile this report and its findings, including: Elena Esina, Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens, and Elizabeth Dozois. Finally, we would like to thank the United Way of Calgary and area and The City of Calgary FCSS for contributing funds to this important work.