One of our core values is Empowerment. We wanted to share a bit more about what empowerment means to us, how empowerment is the framework for everything we do, how you can foster empowerment in others, and some specific FORGE empowerment resources.
What does empowerment mean to FORGE?
- Survivors have choices over who, how, and where they seek support, information, and services.
- Service providers receive training and support that empowers them trans-knowledgeable, trauma-informed care to their clients.
- Supporting others in recognizing their own abilities and agency.
- Individuals have multiple, overlapping identities and experiences, and are supported in embracing their wholeness.
- Moving from despair to a liberated, joyful connection with ourselves, our bodies, our relationships, and our communities.
- Creating a world where all trans and non-binary people can speak their truth and live their lives from a position of wellness, authenticity and strength.
- Respecting survivors’ intersectional experiences.
How does FORGE empower?
- Creating a safe, respectful space for trans and non-binary voices to cultivate their true selves, learn skills, and find community.
- We individually tailor every training and technical assistance response to meet the specific needs of the requestor.
- We “package” our information in different formats (publication, webinar, social media posts, groups, etc.) so that it can be accessed in the person’s preferred medium.
- Helping service providers learn how to hold space for trans and non-binary people, become more aware of trans/non-binary-specific issues and provide services that meet their unique needs.
- Provider training and technical assistance opportunities to help providers increase knowledge/skill in providing more inclusive services.
- We encourage staff, community members, and providers to prioritize personal and professional growth opportunities.
- Building resilience-focused, trans-affirming resources for survivors and for support agencies/professionals.
- Supporting, educating, and providing resources to help trans and non-binary people step into their power.
- Offering direct support and informing folks of their rights.
- Increasing trans and nonbinary visibility everywhere.
- One-on-one support of trans folks/peer counseling.
- Offer training and technical assistance opportunities to guide policymakers in creating more inclusive, supportive, equitable environments broadly.
How can you can help empower trans survivors?
- Providing compassionate witness to healing and identity journeys.
- Offer affirming one-on-one support.
- Listen to, learn, and advocate for what trans survivors need
- Sharing resources and practical tools.
- Showing trans survivors they’re not alone.
- Protest anti-trans legislation and advocate for trans-supportive legislation.
- Link trans people to relevant FORGE (and other) resources.
- Make sure service providers you know are aware of FORGE’s resources.
- Ask trans survivors what they need.
- Believe trans and non-binary survivors.
- Practice consent.
- Respect boundaries.
- Support trans-led and trans-focused organizations.
- Organize to help make trans-positive policy changes.
- Share your experiences with empowerment and why it matters.
- Support FORGE during the month of June and on Give Out Day.
FORGE helps people learn empowerment skills:
- We Are All Responsible: 101 Things You Can Do https://forge-forward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/we-are-all-responsible1.pdf
- Know Your Rights! Transgender Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence https://forge-forward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/know-your-rights-VAWA-fact-sheet.pdf
- Safety Planning Tool https://forge-forward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/safety-planning-tool.pdf
- Self-Advocacy: A To-Do List for Crime Survivors https://forge-wi.org/resources/tip-sheet/self-advocacy-a-to-do-list-for-crime-survivors/
- Supporting LGBTQ Youth is Violence Prevention https://forge-forward.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Supporting-LGBTQ-Youth-is-Violence-Prevention.pdf
- Trans+ Advocacy and Activism https://forge-wi.org/resources/video/trans-advocacy-and-activism/
- Workplace Harassment and Trans/Non-Binary Employees: Resources
- Days of Action Collection https://forge-forward.org/collections/days-of-action/