The Los Angeles LGBT Center has announced a nationwide program, in collaboration with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and In Our Own Voices, Inc., to effectively respond to the unique and emerging needs of survivors of LGBTQ intimate partner violence (IPV).
Funded by a $2.25 million federal grant from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence will deliver state-of-the-art training and technical assistance that significantly expands the capacity of public and private agencies to provide culturally relevant, survivor-centered LGBTQ IPV intervention and prevention services, including to LGBTQ persons from racially and ethnically diverse communities.
The Institute will also enhance the visibility of LGBTQ-specific IPV needs, interventions, and strategies; conduct research to identify and disseminate evidence-informed interventions; and oversee policy initiatives which will have meaningful impacts on the quality, scope, and accessibility of LGBTQ IPV services nationwide.The Institute will launch in the fall and be implemented over a five-year period.
“More than 1 in 3 LGBTQ people experience intimate partner violence over the course of their lives—with the bisexual, transgender, and BIPOC LGBTQ communities experiencing even higher rates—which makes IPV one of the largest and most critical health issues confronting our LGBTQ community. These incidences of violence have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief Impact Officer Terra Russell-Slavin.
“IPV creates serious physical health, mental health, and social consequences for survivors, their families, our community, and society at large. Together, with our collaborators, we will help create a more responsive infrastructure so that LGBTQ survivors can not only heal but thrive.”
According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, an estimated 4.1 million LGBTQ people in the United States have experienced physical IPV, partner rape, or partner stalking in their lifetimes. Facing a severe shortage nationwide of LGBTQ victim services, the Institute will significantly enhance the safety, well-being, support, and health of LGBTQ IPV survivors.
“Many services for LGBTQ IPV victims are provided in the context of traditional heterosexual programs which are neither adapted nor modified to meet the needs of LGBTQ individuals,” said Susan Holt, the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s STOP Violence Program Manager. “This can result in inadequate, unsafe, and ineffective services, and—in some cases—can inadvertently increase violence and abuse.”
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, based in New York City, is comprised of 46 local member programs, affiliate organizations, and individual organizations involved in preventing and addressing LGBTQ IPV and working towards creating systemic and social change for LGBTQ survivors. The Coalition is overseen by the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the nation’s largest LGBTQ-specific anti-violence program.
“The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs is thrilled to be a part of this collaboration with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and In Our Own Voices, Inc.,” said NCAVP Executive Director Beverly Tillery. “The Institute will not only deepen our knowledge about intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ community and the needs of survivors, but it will turn our knowledge into actions to advance policies and best practices that will have a real impact for survivors and our larger community.”
In Our Own Voices, Inc., based in Albany, New York, is a leading national organization working to ensure the physical, mental, spiritual, political, cultural, and economic survival and growth of LGBTQ people of color and their communities. Its services and programs, including domestic violence programs, address the unique needs and challenges of LGBTQ Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the NYC AVP to house the National LGBTQ Institute, particularly with a focus on LGBTQ BIPOC communities,” said In Our Own Voices, Inc., CEO Tandra R. La Grone. “By building off of the amazing work achieved already by our collaborators, the Institute will do amazing work. This is a great time for a fresh start—not only for our vital work but also for the survivors.”