New grant supports transgender survivors (SASP2012)

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The Espavo Project:

New Hope and Services for Transgender Survivors

FORGE, an 18-year-old organization committed to improving the lives of transgender and SOFFA (Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies) individuals by building strong connections, providing resources, and empowering personal growth, has been awarded another 3-year, $288,750 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).

Most of FORGE’s work on violence against transgender, gender non-conforming, and SOFFA individuals focuses on increasing the capacity of providers to better serve survivors. Fortunately, this new Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) grant, allows us to more directly deepen our commitment to supporting transgender survivors and loved ones who are healing from sexual abuse and assault.

Under the new grant, FORGE will establish The Espavo Project, with a primary goal of providing a set of services and activities that support the healing of transgender and gender non-conforming survivors of sexual assault in a way that simultaneously increases the larger transgender community’s sense of strength and worth.

Specific project components include:

  • Online Writing to Heal courses;
  • Writing to Heal workshops at transgender conferences;
  • Online and traveling Gallery of survivors’ photographs, writings, and other creative works;
  • Educational materials in the forms of brochures, palmcards, publications, workshops and webinars;
  • Peer support listserv;
  • Online therapist directory of providers who are both trans-informed and trauma-informed; and
  • Expanded national information and referral services for transgender, gender non-conforming and SOFFA survivors of sexual assault.

Programming will begin in early 2013.

The new SASP project is a continuation of a previous, 2009, 3-year grant that involved some of the same services and the creation of a suite of self-help manuals that are still in production.  The Espavo Project complements FORGE’s other projects, which include another 3-year grant from the Office on Violence Against Women  (2011-2014) which provides training and technical assistance nationwide to agencies providing services to transgender survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and hate violence.  For more information on any of our services, publications, or projects, please consult our website at