FORGE launches new victim services
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORGE receives $72,668 in funding to provide new services and supports for SE Wisconsin transgender and non-binary victims of crime
[Milwaukee, WI]– FORGE is initiating new services for SE Wisconsinites who are transgender or non-binary and who have experienced crime as a result of a new Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant of $72,668 from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
Data indicates that the vast majority of transgender and non-binary individuals has experienced crime and violence, often many times over their lifespan. Unfortunately, due to fear and an expectation of poor or no service, many of these victims have not accessed the public services set up to help them stabilize and heal. FORGE’s newly-funded services will help bridge this gap for transgender and non-binary crime victims (either newly victimized or still dealing with decades-old aftereffects):
- Trained appointment buddies will accompany trans and non-binary victims to law enforcement, health care, and other relevant professionals’ appointments. Having a supportive person present can make it possible for victims to report what has happened and obtain services.
- One of the most difficult aftereffects of being victimized is that survivors often feel isolated and unsupported; this can be particularly problematic for transgender and non-binary people who may have already lost family and friends due to their gender identity. FORGE will host a series of community events open not only to trans and non-binary survivors, but also SOFFAs (Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies), including supportive victim service providers and other professionals, to provide survivors with the experience of being part of a community that recognizes their wounds and supports and celebrates their resiliency.
- The legal environment for trans and non-binary victims of crime has completely changed over the past few years. Trans individuals now have new, explicit rights to access crime victim services, emergency housing, veterans care, health care, education, and much, much more. There are also many new regulations and other types of trainings and guidance that explain to service providers what respectful service looks like for trans and non-binary survivors. FORGE will improve crime victims’ access to mainstream services by teaching victims about their new rights and helping them access respectful services.
- Many people want to do something about the epidemic of violence experienced by trans and non-binary individuals beyond signing petitions and sharing social media posts. FORGE’s volunteer appointment buddies/ambassadors program offers a new, practical way to help. Volunteers will be well-trained on trauma and victimization, specific trans and gender non-binary crime issues, new trans-related service rights and protections, SE Wisconsin’s victim services system and how it can be accessed, and how to support trauma survivors. Buddies/ambassadors will accompany individuals to appointments related to their victimization and will also help spread the word about FORGE services and trans/non-binary victims’ rights.
To learn about events FORGE schedules and keep up with new resources and services for SE Wisconsin trans and non-binary survivors, please follow our Wisconsin Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/forge.wi/) and/or sign up for our ‘Milwaukee Trans Victim Services’ mailing list by clicking on the “subscribe” button in the top right-hand corner of this webpage.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Loree Cook-Daniels, Policy and Program Director AskFORGE [at] forge-forward [dot] org 414-559-2123
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FORGE is a national transgender anti-violence organization based in Milwaukee, WI. Since our founding in 1994, we have provided support and information to SE Wisconsin’s transgender and non-binary communities. Since 2009, we have been federally funded to provide direct services nationwide to transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary survivors of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, stalking, and hate-motivated crimes. We also serve as a national training and technical assistance provider training victim service providers on how to better serve trans and non-binary survivors.
Empowering | Healing | Connecting
Learn more: http://www.forge-forward.org