Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2012

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FORGE Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time to recognize that 1 out of 4 individuals – of any gender identity or expression, of any sexual orientation – has experienced domestic violence.

There is a widespread myth that domestic violence is a crime in which men abuse women.  The reality is that 25-33% of all individuals have been in abusive relationships and both abusers and victims can be of any gender.  Some studies suggest that transgender and gender non-conforming individuals may experience domestic violence at rates higher than the national average.  Possible reasons transgender people may have elevated rates of domestic violence include never having learned healthy relationship skills or believing that violent relationships are the best a transgender person can hope for.

Even though violence occurs across all genders, services are not always offered on a gender-inclusive basis, with male-identified victims often being refused services or offered only very limited and separate services.  Transwomen have also reported many experiences of discrimination and refusal to serve when attempting to access domestic violence services.  This disparity between who is impacted by domestic violence and who can access services is one reason why it is vital that the pending reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) include a Senate-passed provision that prohibits VAWA-funded providers from discriminating against LGBTQ victims.

FORGE is engaged in many efforts to support transgender/gender non-conforming individuals and partners in achieving  violence-free relationships, to improve the ability of service providers to appropriately and respectfully serve transgender survivors (and abusers!), and to reduce or eliminate discriminatory service provision practices.

All of our services and resources are offered online and free of charge.  Here are just a few we’d like to bring to your attention.

We also offer individual technical assistance to service providers who wish to better serve transgender survivors and/or who would like support with a specific case or policy.  Technical assistance can be accessed by calling (414) 559-2123 or emailing AskFORGE [at] forge-forward [dot] org.