This week we participated in the last of four courses dedicated to domestic violence in same sex couples, an initiative of CIG – Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, portuguese public organism for equality, in a partnership with ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. These three days’ courses were aimed at victim support professionals coming from fields such as security (both PSP and GNR), health, counseling offices, shelters, prisons and other services. There was a high rate of participation (in fact, many of the applicants were left out and there was some debate on the possibility of replicating the sessions). During the three days’ courses, topics such as sexual orientation and gender identity, the context and rights of LGBT people in Portugal, stereotypes and myths regarding LGBT people and domestic violence, the specificities of same sex domestic violence, good practises and usefull resources both for victims and professionals were discussed, using different approaches such as group discussions, role playing and group dynamics. We were also informed that a handbook on same sex domestic violence is soon to be released by CIG, and it will be available for all organisms and professionals.
Briefly, the outcome was very positive and we hope this can truly contribute to a change of practises within each of the organizations represented in the event and that it also reflects a change of policy and a compromise on behalf of the public services.