Working With LGBTIQ Survivors of Violence
Avy Skolnik  -  2009/6/24
http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ovcproviderforum
 
 
Please reflect on the unique needs of and resources for under-18 victims, as well as non-LGBT identified victims of anti-LGBT violence.
 
1.  madelaine
 Thanks very much for the thoughtful response. For persons interested in empirical research on the experiences and effects of and helpful solutions to anti-LGBT harassment of youth in schools, including reports on transgender youth and youth of color, please visit www.glsen.org and click on research.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 but it also impacts anyone who could be read as a member of the community - based on gender presentation, cultural norms of gender, site of incident (ie LGBT community space, cruising area, etc), the group one associates with, events one is attending, etc. In NYC the past year, a man was killed because he had his arm around his brothers shoulder on a cold night. Its ironic because AVPs are sometimes criticized for having a narrow population that they serve, (even though its a population covertly denied services by agencies supposedly designed to serve everyone) but in reality, NCAVP members often end up serving large numbers of straight people impacted by gender stereotyping and anti-LGBT violence.
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 Whatever your professional role, being able to honestly and clearly explain both the scope and limits of your confidentiality are very important in maintaining the trust and safety of an LGBTQ young person and allowing them agency to decide what to tell and what to keep private. There is more that could be said, but I want to address the second part of your question which is hugely important, as well. Every year, the NCAVP Hate Violence Report documents 9-10 of victims identifying as heterosexual. The bulk of these are cases where the offender(s) misread the victim. Homophobia and traansphobia impacts LGBT people most dramatically,
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 Foster care and youth shelters additionally can be particularly oppressive places for LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth. In some cases, gender nonconformity (in behavior, presentation or identity) can be seen as grounds for institutionalization. And when violence is occurring at home and bullying/harassment is occurring at school, ones choices start to feel very limited. If you work at a youth shelter or other youth-serving org and are looking for support on becoming more accessible to LGBTQ youth, send me an email and I can connect you to your nearest NCAVP member. Being a good resource for LGBTQ youth surviving violence necessitates knowing mandated reporter laws and confidentiality/privilege laws in your state.
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 ...can land you a ticket and a criminal court summons, which result in a large number of youth of color and low-income youth being caught up in the criminallegal system early on in life, which later can impact ability to get a job, among other things. Not all young people experience ageism the same way and I am only scratching the surface. But being mindful of backdrop of ageism is essential in doing effective safety planning for LGBTQ youth under18. One of the most critical issues that comes to mind in thinking about issues impacting LGBTQ youth is homelessness and the risk to ones safety if one comes out or is un-consensually outed or is suspected of being LGBTQ.
 
6.  Avy Skolnik
 The impact of ageism on a person under 18 of any sexual orientation or gender identity cannot be overstated. Presumption of criminality (especially of youth of color) results in such things as adult sentences for youthful offenders, and young people being swept up into the system for minor infractions like curfew violations. In most states, youth under 18 cannot consent to healthcare parental notificationpermission is necessary, though some states luckily have exemptions for sexual/reproductive healthcare. And even though youth pay taxes on their income if they work, they are barred from voting no matter how exemplary ones conduct or how high ones grades. In some public school systems, truancy or even using the restroom outside of passing periods...
 
 
From an organization that works with people of color or minorities, just wondering how abuse instances involving interracial couples differ from same race relationships if at all
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 If both batterer and survivor are POC-Small community issues even if both partners have different cultural identities, queer communities are small even in large cities. Negotiating safe space away from partner that doesnt involve cutting oneself off from their entire QPOC community can be very challenging. -Family issues if ones family is not supportive of the relationship, and/or if ones family has prejudices against the racial group of ones partner, getting support from ones family may be impossible, even though that may be where the survivor most needs support to come from.-Linguistic issues and immigration issues and different ID specific stereotypes still can create racialized power imbalances in relationships between two queer people of color.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 If batterer is person of color and survivor is white:-Using any fears that partner has about what might happen to batterer if police are called to prevent survivor from accessing police or other assistance-Using the existence of racism/white privilege to magnify a survivors sense of self-blame about abuse they are experiencing-Using privilege/racism as way to minimize violence that is occurring -Using experiences of racism as excuses for violent or abusive behavior
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 If batterer is white and survivor person of color-Using threats of calling police andor using potential of racist police brutality as threat-If POC partner is also an immigrant, threat of ICE adds extra layer-Either overtly or covertly intentionally using racist stereotypes to make oneself seen as more believable in court, hospital, with service provider, etc-Playing on or using internalized racism as way to make partner believe they are of less value or less likely to succeed or be safe in the world without white partner-Shaming partner around cultural practices, beliefs, family of origin.-Using racist slurs/language
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 Some people are stereotyped as terrorists, while others, as meek. Some are stereotyped as timid, others as aggressive, as criminals, as predators, and so forth. Most people harboring said stereotypes do not speak about them openly, but it comes through in the treatment people receive in shelter, in emergency rooms, in police precincts, in courts. Gender non-normativity (in expression or in relationship configuration) intensifies those stereotypes and the scrutiny that queer people of color face, whether they are battering or surviving DV.In LGBT (and in many cases straight) relationships, here are some examples of power and control:
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 In 2008, over of the bias-motivated murders NCAVP documented were against transgender women of color (thats just our hate violence report the DV report comes out in October). The likelihood of violence outside the relationship can allow for a really intense power difference within a relationship especially if a transwoman of color is dating a heterosexual white male. Again, this is not by itself an indicator of abuse, but allows for a lot of tactics of power and control if the more privileged partner is abusive.It is important to be aware of racialized stereotypes and who gets stereotyped how, and to safety-plan with survivors around that.
 
6.  Avy Skolnik
 Police, judges, and service providers who come into contact with both will be more likely to believe a gender normative white person. (it is hard to separate out the gender and race stereotypes in my experience so that is why I am speaking of them in concert). In situations where I have worked with gay men of color, regardless of the race if his partner, people had a hard time seeing him as a true DV victim, especially if he was a gender normative, masculine guy. Transgender women of color face an extreme amount of hate-motivated violence, which certainly impacts how one survives DV.
 
7.  Avy Skolnik
 against the survivor (Ill list some specific tactics to watch out for in a moment). Its important to note though that a persons identity or membership in any privileged or marginalized group is not in and of itself a predictor of battering, nor of surviving, IPV. In other words, even though a white person can use white privilege if they are an abuser, being white does not make it more likely that one is the abuser. Racism can and often does play out in batterersurvivor DV assessments and racism and gender assumptions/stereotypes often collude to make services highly inaccessible to masculine/butch black and brown women and transmen, especially if their partner is more feminine and/or white.
 
8.  Avy Skolnik
 There is a lot to say about this, and Im probably not even touching on half of it here.Both racism and cultural differences can certainly have an impact on intimate partner violence in LGBT relationships where one or more partners are of color. I think its important to distinguish between interracial relationships where one partner is white and interracial relationships where both partners are from different POC communities. A couple of things stand out for me, the first being the potential impact of race and racism on batterersurvivor assessments. When a batterer is white and the survivor is of color, interpersonal and institutional racism can certainly be used as tools of power and control
 
 
Please share your thoughts and any new information about working with LGBTIQ survivors of intimate partner sexual violence.
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 that you don't judge any consensual sex practices and that you do not expect an SA survivor to go into detail about the kind of sex they were having at the time of the assault.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Along similar lines, many LGBT folks engage in sexual play that is seen as deviant beyond simply sex with someone of the same gender. Orgies, BDSM, other forms of kink, public sex, etc are a part of some LGBT folks sexual practices. People engaging in some of these scenes who also experience sexual assault may be afraid of accessing services because of fears of judgment or victim-blaming. Be clear on the differences between abuse and nonvanilla sexual activities (the existence of consent is the short answer but there is more to study on this - heres one resource (www.lesbiansexmafia.org) - and be clear in your outreach materials and in your conversations with clients
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 Know the legal definitions of rape in your area and when appropriate, acknowledge with the survivor where they fall short. (The FBI's is horrendous - men cannot be raped under their definition, for example). In other locales, a penis must be involved for it to count. Your organization should be able to articulate a definition of rape and/or sexual assault that refers to specific acts of violence, rather than genders. Another barrier to services for LGBT SAIPV survivors is the myth that various forms of sexual abuse are intrinsically a part of LGBT relationships or MSMWSW sexual encounters - that it should be expected if one is going to engage in that lifestyle. Confront question that myth when you encounter it.
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 a) when they've crossed a boundary and b) where our own boundaries are (which is sometimes a different dynamic from sex coercion being used intentionally to establish power and control, though the impact on the survivor may not be all that different). When safety planning with LGBT people its important to have LGBT-relevant conversations about the meaning of consent - that consent must be sought and given at every stage, that consenting to one type of sex or one type of sexual act does not automatically mean consenting to everything. That consent cannot be given if one is afraid of the consequences of not consenting. That refusal to use safer sex precautions after you have asked is a form of sexual assault.
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 I am unsure about how much of this is new information, so I apologize if this is knowledge you have already (as always, others should add in your comments, too)Dynamics of SV and issues of consent can really vary between various segments of LGBT communities in my experience. One issue that I've seen come up has to do with clarifications of what consent means for queer people and what good boundary assertion looks like. Information that LGBT communities get (and perpetuate within communities at times) such as as all gay men want sex all the time and a woman would never/could never rape another woman can make it really hard for people to know:
 
 
Where can we get information on this issue, i.e., national clearing house or resource center?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 On our website, www.ncavp.org, there is a list of all of the members of our national coalition all of whom are organizations and individuals working specifically to end violence in all its forms against LGBT communities. All of our reports and media releases can also be found on the site, and publications from some of our member programs, as well. If the information you are looking for cannot be found on our website or the sites of our member orgs, you can email your question(s) to the site. Or me. If you're looking for more reading in general, drop me an email and I can send you a bibliography.
 
 
When performing a sexual assault examination on a transgendered patient, are there any alterations in technique that should be utilized for either male or female patients?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 Unfortunately, no, I know of none but I think I may know people who might know :). Email me at askolnik@avp.org
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Youll have no way of knowing how the individual in front of you talks about their body and it may not be appropriate to ask. So instead, when describing what you are doing or will be doing, use a gender neutral language as possible (ie if you can use the term urethra instead of penis or chest instead of breast do so. If you cannot, you should still talk about what you are doing as clearly as you would with a non-trans patient).
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 we inadvertently collude with the perpetrators of the violence and reinforce the trauma just experienced. But when you base how you speak to the patient on how they self identify, rather than on their parts, you are validating that basic human right to define oneself and interrupting transphobia.-Know that some trans people do not refer to their gendered body parts by the traditional names that are used for those parts (i.e. some trans men may refer to their breasts as their chest, as one example).
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 -Even as you are working with a body that you medically are trained to think of as male or as female, make every effort to respect gender identity with your language throughout the entire exam. This is especially important if you are Spanish speaking and working with a trans patient in Spanish or in other languages where noun or verb or adjective endings, and not just pronouns, are gendered.-Many people who sexually assault trans and gender nonconforming people do so in the context of hate violence. Specifically, to remind the person of who they really are. When we mess up or refer to people based on their bodies because we think thats whats professionally or legally appropriate,
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 -It is of prime importance that before starting the exam, you ask the person if they have a name they prefer to use thats different from whats on their medical chart or police report and to ask if they prefer to go by he or she or a different gender pronoun altogether. This signals to the patient that you are not biased against trans people, that you will not put the person in the position of educating you about their experience, and that you will respect their right to self-identify.
 
6.  Avy Skolnik
 Meaning that a transgender man (someone assigned the female gender at birth but currently identifies in a more masculine-oriented way or as a man) who has not had surgery should likely receive the same exam as a woman. A transgender woman (someone assigned the male gender at birth but who currently identifies as a woman or in a more female-oriented way) who has not had surgery would likely receive the same exam as a man. -For intersex patients or trans patients who have had surgeries, there may be variations on best practices for techniques and that is what I'm hoping these other folks that I know could speak to. Please also remember:
 
7.  Avy Skolnik
 I can't thank you enough for asking this question. Accessing healthcare, particularly in the aftermath of a sexual assault, can be an especially re-victimizing experience for trans and gender nonconforming people.I don't have a medical background, but drop me an email and I can put you in touch with some nurses who I know could answer specific technique-related questions. Heres what I'll say in general though: There's no one answer to your question because transgender people have a diversity of body types-Many transgender people have not had bottom surgery so medically, you would most likely use the same techniques as you would for someone of the same body type who is not trans identified.
 
8.  Jennifer
 To add on to this... are there examples you could provide or documents online where this is included in policy/procedures/protocol of SANES?
 
 
We are starting a support group for GLBTQ survivors at our domestic violence shelter. We have no budget for training. What are the best practices and what readings/web sites might help us? Also, should the group be all genders or gender specific? Thank you so much! Leila
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 That is of definite concern and so when you are doing intakes, you definitely want to ask the name of the person's partner. Having a good assessment practice is essential and it requires training. There several are resources on doing this specifically with LGBT communities, though such assessment should be done with all people accessing your services, not only LGBT folks. One of the leaders on this issue nationally is the Northwest Network of TBLG Survivors of Abuse in Seattle, WA. www.nwnetwork.org. They host an annual Q and A that incorporates training on screening.
 
2.  sylvia
 I always worry that we are going to have both the victim & abuser in the same groups when same sex. What kind of screening would you recommend?
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 another nonabusive partner, a greater likelihood of being labeled an abuser even if one is a victim, less likelihood that one can count on family of origin for support, a decrease in access to protection by/support from police, courts, service providers, and an increase in vulnerability to violence from strangers and job and public accomm. discrimination. Survival strategies may be slightly different because of these barriers. Physically self defending, sex work, drug/alcohol use, creation of chosen families, close connections with pets, and seeking community accountability of the batterer are just some of the strategies that people may employ.For more specific TA, email me and Ill do my best to connect you with an NCAVP member near you who has experience running groups.
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 because people know there is less likely to be anonymity. Also, even if the members dont know each other directly, there is probably one degree of separation between each of them, and so it is really important to emphasize confidentiality. Remember the basic dynamics of DV are the same as in heterosexual relationships - members will have experienced a pattern of power and control escalating over time, consisting of a multitude of different forms of abuse. The differences primarily stem from the impact that homophobia and transphobia have on survivors and survival strategies. This can result in the internalization of negative messages about our relationships, gender identities, and communities, a fear that one will never be able to find another partner or another
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 I think separate gender groups (GBT men and LBT women) can work ok but I think it makes more sense to have a mixed group, as long as you watch for power dynamics emerging in the group that may need to be addressed (isms or inter-community tension). Attendance might be low, especially for the first few weeks the group is meeting, but keep meeting regularly even if you only have only one or two people. You should do intentional outreach, but know that word-of-mouth is likely to make a difference, too. Confidentiality issues can come up with LGBT groups because communities are small and group members may know each other, which is one reason attendance can be low,
 
6.  Jennifer
 The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence has a very good PowerPoint called LGBT Intimate Partner Violence 101 that you may find useful. I am also going to include some LGBT issues in a guide I am writing on support groups for survivors of intimate partner sexual assault.Jennifer Y. Levy-PeckWA Coalition of Sexual Assault Programsjennifer@wcsap.org
 
 
How should youth groups and schools adjust their best practices for handling DV specifically within the GLBT community, as opposed to DV between straight partners?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 I am not exactly sure how schools have changed their policies around the technology stuff, but that is an excellent question. An amazing resource around anything and everything having to do with LGBTQ issues in schools this is the safe schools coalition in WA. www.safeschoolscoalition.org. If the answer isn't on the site, there will definitely be info about who you can ask for examples of such policies.
 
2.  Mariel
 Thanks so much for your responses! Do you know about how policies in schools may have changed due to cultural/technological changes (text bullying etc) and how that might potentially affect responses to DV?
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 So when intervening in LGBT teen dating violence, be aware that these students may have experienced that unspoken homophobia from other adults and may be extra resistant to intervention because it could feel like an extension of that, especially if your school has policies that exclude LGBT students (anti-GSA policies, same sex couples not allowed at dances, etc).
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 Depending on your geographic region and the level of homophobia at your school or youth group, LGBT youth who are open about their relationships may be subject to an increased level of violence form their peers and an increase amount of homophobic scrutiny from adults around them. The homophobia from adults is often the unspoken variety (security guards being rougher with or more likely to search LGBT students, public displays of affection policed more heavily by administrators and teachers, etc) rather than outright condemnations of LGBT relationships or gender nonconformity.
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 Assessments and safety planning should be done with both parties, separately, no matter how mutual the violence appears. In my experience, LGBT teen dating violence often looks very much like mutual abuse to outsiders. I have often been asked if it is more likely to be mutual than heterosexual teen dating violence. I don't know for sure, but my gut tells me no. That while both folks can be jealous and act out in intense ways, there is usually one who is establishing control and careful assessments should be done to figure out who that is and how to keep both people safe. Avoid basing those assessments on gender expression and perceptions of masculine and feminine roles.
 
6.  Avy Skolnik
 Know that the many of prevention and intervention strategies you currently use will likely be relevant for LGBT youth because the basic dynamics are the same. Additional considerations should probably include: Sensitivity around outing for both people involved, especially to parents, is essential. Schools should make every effort to keep information about students sexual orientation or gender identity (or their questioning processes) completely confidential. If a student has engaged in violent behavior that necessitates informing parents, and the student is not out, strategizing and safety planning should still be done with that young person with regards to possible parental reactions.
 
7.  donald
 I would like to receive any information via e-mail about training for lgbt clients, our local high school just started a school club for lgbt students and I would like to be able to assist any lgbt students about same sex partner domestic violence.
 
 
What are some good resources to share with agency staff and law enforcement to help them better understand the unique issues of intimate partner violence within LGBTIQ couples? What do you see as the weakest areas of services provided? (eg. legal advocacy, shelter, therapy, etc.)
 
1.  Elizabeth Pratt
 Thanks! I'm in Spartanburg, SC.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Non-trans men have very few shelter options, and this is another big gap. Often, gay and bi non-trans men (and trans people) are referred to homeless shelters which are often ill equipped to meet the safety needs of both DV survivors and LGBT homeless people.
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 and sometimes from shelter staff. Transgender women increasingly are being admitted to DV shelters, but when they are, have very mixed experiences. Shelter policies that require trans women to have had surgery or provide documented proof of being transgender are discriminatory and not best practice. Transgender men (people assigned the female gender at birth but who currently identify andor present in a more masculine oriented way or as a man) are usually not granted access to DV shelter, though more progressive shelter recognize that barring access to some members of trans community while granting access to others is somewhat problematic.
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 communities after such training has been done. Often, predominant aggressor analysis is conducted based on gender assumptions or size differences and sometimes when dual arrests happen, if the two people are of the same gender, they may be placed in the same squad car and the same holding cell. The person in the relationship surviving abuse is sent a very strong message about the consequences of reaching out for help. Shelter - DV shelter, again depending on the region, may or may not be an option for an LGBT survivor. For women assigned the female gender at birth who still identify as women, generally DV shelter is accessible, though if they are lesbian or bi and/or gender nonconforming, they certainly may experience problematic treatment from other guests
 
5.  Avy Skolnik
 Gaps in services and training needs really vary from region to region so let me know where you are and I can hopefully connect you with an NCAVP member near you that can help provide trainings to any of the above-mentioned groups.In terms of weakest areas I have heard about/observed generally: Law enforcement: Dual arrests and misarrests of LGBT people when they or a third party call police. As well as overt homophobic/transphobic treatment by law enforcement when responding. The quality and type of training law enforcement receive on LGBT IPV is extremely varied, even within the same department. NCAVP members report different things in terms improvements in law enforcement treatment of LGBT
 
 
Aloha - the Hawaii Coalition cannot participate actively in the forum due to the time difference but we have some questions and will check the web page to see if they were answered and read the other discussions that took place. We are interested in best practices for police assessing domestic violence and affecting arrest in LGBTIQ relationships. Also we have heard that former victims sometimes become batterers in LGBTIQ relationships. We would like to know if this is true or an urban myth, where this thought process comes from and how to speak to it in trainings for our shelters and other service providers. Thank you.
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 A lack of positive role models and examples of healthy LGBT relationships contributes to the prevalence of LGBT DV and silenceacceptance of it. So it is not inconceivable to me that that could happen. I don't know that I'd say this would be more likely to happen with LGBT survivors than with heterosexual women, though. But if hypothetically that were the case, I would imagine that male privilege would be the reason for that difference, rather than anything having to do with LGBT relationships themselves, if that makes sense.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Great questions, I think I speak to some of it in earlier posts, but definitely not the question about batterers becoming victims, so I'll answer that and if the other ones aren't answered in other posts, email me.It sounds a little bit like myth to me, one stemming from the stereotype that LGBT IPV is primarily mutual abuse. I'd be interested to hear what other folks think about it. That being said, I am sure that there are cases where this has happened. LGBT people in the U.S. just like heterosexual people have been socialized to see violence as an acceptable aspect or element of intimate relationships.
 
 
Hey there Avy, How do your educators speak about domestic violence and sexual assault in an LGBTQI inclusive way that also keeps true to the movement in regards to "men's violence against women?"
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 sexism make it easier to batter, but they are not the cause. In fact, many batterers have more societal vulnerabilities than their victims and they find ways to use those to control their partners, too, exploiting the guilt, self-blame, and sense of personal responsibility that many DV survivors feel in abusive relationships. Men are not inherently more violent than women. Lesbians are not inherently more violent than straight women.It is well documented that rates of DV in LGBT relationships are about the same as in heterosexual relationships. Check out our annual reports on DV in LGBT communities under publications. For our stats www.ncavp.org.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Some of us feel entitled to control our partners because of other societal, unearned privilege besides sexism, such as white privilege, straight privilege, class privilege, etc. And a very small percentage of people batter because of mental health related reasons. The power to act those feeling of entitlement also has many sources, sexism again being only one of many. It is analogous to the erroneous belief that the root cause of DV is alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption, like male privilege, is correlated with DV. But it does not cause it. Alcohol exaggerates already existing feelings of entitlement and power. But not all of us who get drunk batter. Similarly, not everyone with male privilege batters. Male privilege and
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 This is just a piece of sexism and male supremacy that is very deeply ingrained culturally and institutionally in the U.S. And this is the reason why, in the majority of heterosexual relationships where there is IPV, men are battering and women are surviving.But the root cause of IPV is one person feeling entitled to control their intimate partner AND acting out that feeling. That sense of entitlement is complicated and comes from many places, not just sexism. Some of us feel entitled to control our partners because we've been taught that our partners are responsible for meeting all our needs. Some of us feel entitled to control our partners because control/isolation/coercion were the only models we saw growing up.
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 The million dollar question. Here are my thoughts: Sexism is not the only root cause of DV against anyone, straight or LGBT. The root causes of IPV transcend sexual orientation and gender ID. Arguments to contrary are often unintentionally but inherently homophobic which contributes to the silencing of LGBT survivors, especially female survivors of battering from their female partners. What IS true is that in the U.S., men are rewarded again and again for their violence, against each other, but especially against women. And they are simultaneously punished for passivity or submissiveness or gentleness. And they are socialized (to differing degrees depending on other influences) to view women as property.
 
 
Working in a rural Wisconsin DV/SA agency, I do not see a lot of openly out LGBTIQ survivors. What are some strategies to better engage LGBTIQ (out and non-out) survivors and help them to access our services?
 
1.  Margaret
 This post was particularly helpful since I will be doing similar work in rural Washington. Thanks!!!
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 -Fliers advertising for services at coffee shops, libraries, bookstores, bars, any local formal or informal LGBT hang out spot--Table or have a presence at any potential LGBT events happening in the town (film festivals, political events, pride events)--When you give presentations to other service providers or out in community at schools, places of worship, etc, specifically mention LGBT issues (not the acronym though, mention the full words)--Word of mouth is a powerful outreach tool, as well. One persons good experience with your org will likely result in other folks calling in the future
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 And have staff done working around unlearning homophobia/transphobia or might there be staff who are somewhat anti-LGBT? Do staff know the specific legal protections that include LGBT people (ie local anti-discrimination ordinances, access to DV OPs, child custody, relationship recognition). Local LGBT orgs can support you through training and providing materials, but remember LGBT orgs especially in rural places need support so consider compensating them for the support you seek. Once you feel like you are in a good place to be providing services, some outreach strategies:
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 Partner with your nearest LGBT-specific org (if you are not doing so already) even if they are in another city. There are two NCAVP members in Wisc: The Milwaukee LGBT community centers AVP and FORGE Survivor Project, also in Milwaukee. They can help spread the word within LGBT communities that your org is accessible. Make sure that you org IS accessible though, before doing any active outreach campaigns. If you have not already done so, check in with staff and see if they seem to have good working knowledge of language and terms used by LGBT communities. Does your org have policies that might explicitly or de facto exclude men or trans people?
 
 
We talked about LGB, then T, now I and Q and we seem to treat them as a monolithic group. I am sure there are differences between each of these populations. What are the risks of lumping them all together?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 There can be risks of doing this for sure. When relevant, I tried to separate out the different communities in my answers to peoples questions. Any ID movement has risks of lumping groups together. In the anti-violence world, orgs that do an ok job of serving lesbian survivors sometimes say they serve LGBT folks even if they really mean women-identified, women born survivors. The distinction is certainly important. The benefits though of speaking of ourselves as one community are that it allows for some fluidity and increases our strength, which in many ways, lie in our diversity.
 
 
What sort of trainings have you done when it comes to transgender victims of sexual assault and how to be sensitive and competent to this population's specific issues, challenges, hardships, discrimination....etc..?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 Information about stereotyping of trans people as sexual predators, crazy people, people only seen as sexual objects, deceptive tricksters (think trans panic defense) etc and how those stereotypes overlap with general myths about sexual assault (the victims, the offenders, and the act).Then, depending on your audience, going into best practices and legal information that may be relevant. Much of the specifics you could talk about are posted in early questions in this webinar.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Training on this topic really varies, depending on the audience (healthcare, shelter, youth serving, therapists, school, etc) and the time frame they give you.A training I would give on this issue would begin with a basic discussion about gender identity and sexual orientation in general (what they are in a framework that is inclusive), along with language and terminology that trans people use.If time allows, a discussion about what transphobia means and how it manifests can be helpful before beginning to discuss SA. This information provides the why of the how that you will give later.
 
 
How has the recent rise in hate crimes and attacks on the lgbt individuals impacted or influenced your work?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 In addition to counseling, healthcare, and sometimes police advocacy, hate violence incidents often require a lot of specialized advocacy and community organizing. Media releases, court accompaniment and monitoring, technical assistance and advocacy with DAs, public forums, vigils, rallies and more are often part of the follow-up. Organizations manage to do this while still dealing with their general client case loads. Its incredible what they with a small staff and small budgets, but for many of us, its not sustainable.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 For almost all of our member programs, increases in hate violence greatly tax their resources. Unfortunately, when there are increases (stemming from anti-LGBT initiatives and campaigns, general increases in LGBT visibility, economic hardship, copy cat crimes, increases in activity from organized hate groups, etc) funding for the work does not magically increase in tandem. So NCAVP members, which are primarily small, one or two staff operations, are stretched very, very thin. One of our goals to try to remedy this is to find a way to open up a federal funding stream specifically for orgs working to address anti-LGBT hate violence and to provide services to victims, survivors and their families.
 
 
How can we make campus sexual assault services more effective and inclusive of LGBTIQ survivors?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 -Many colleges do a great deal around sexual violence prevention in the context of dating and party hook ups and those scenarios and skits and questions and discussion tend to revolve around heterosexual experiences. At least, they did on my campus. LGBT people were seen as not having those problems or being more evolved. While flattering ;), those characterizations silence survivors and are simply not true. So if your office is involved in those dialogues, make sure campus wide safer sex and dating violence prevention info is inclusive of LGBT relationships.-Feel free to contact me and I can put you in touch with your local NCAVP member.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 I think this may be answered in some of the questions below, but to add a few additional pieces:-Mention providing services for survivors of bias-motivated (hate) violence in your outreach materials. Is one of the primary context in which LGBT people experience sexual violence-Partner with your LGBT org if there is one on campus. If the student group is open to allies or if there are LGBT students that provide SA services through your office, see about attending meetings to talk about this issue and find out what are the barriers for LGBT students in accessing (if any).
 
 
What are the best ways to conduct outreach to the LGBTQ community about intimate partner violence? We know that it is really prevalent in DC, but it's not a topic that the community wants to discuss. How can advocates change that?
 
1.  Kristin S.
 In Cincinnati, Ohio my collaborative (Family Violence Prevention Project) partnered with local LGBTQ org and we created marketinge/ducation card titled RedGree Flags of HealthyUnhealthy Relationships. We have an adult LGBTQ and teen LGBTQ version. This has been really well recieved in our community and offers some entry points for dialogue. We reproduce our design for other orgs--if interested email me and I will share our resources: kshrimplin@ywcacin.org
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 -There is an NCAVP member in DC (who you may know but I can connect you with, if not) and a really good LGBT police liaison. They may be able to help or have strategies, as well.
 
3.  Avy Skolnik
 -Intentional poster campaigns. Some cool ones I've seen center around themes such as My strength is not for hurting or I love my boo with photographs of LGBT couples. If you don't have funding for a fancy ad campaign, just use stock photos, a variety, and hang them up wherever you're allowed to post fliers (coffee houses, bookstores, etc)-See if its possible to partner with any LGBT bars or businesses on Dupont circle or in other areas to put outreach material there (outreach materials about DV are best placed on match books, condoms, or other items that if abusive partners find, won't get the survivor in trouble.
 
4.  Avy Skolnik
 This is a huge challenge everywhere. I don't know what strategies you've tried already, but I'll list a few creative ones I've heard of. -Utilize existing events that LGBT communities congregate at, such as pride. Have a table and have some fun activity at the table that involves either surveying people about their opinions on issues related to LGBT IPV, or quizzing people about their knowledge of LGBT IPV. Listen for the myths that come up, and share the truths to the answers, and then have some kind of small prize for participating and let the person know about your services. Also, be prepared for disclosures.
 
5.  Joe Reilly
 I think this problem is fairly universal. In Spokane, WA, we formed a task force (primarily of LGBTIQA community members) two years ago. After holding a workshop for professionals, we started work on a social marketing campaign. We'll soon be distributing informational drink coasters to bars and posting posters in restrooms (intimate issue/private location). We hope to find that the coasters spark conversation or serve as a reminder that help is available.
 
 
As a legal services program, how can we best reach out to victims in the LGBT community?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 The outreach strategies listed in a lot of previous posts could definitely apply to a legal program, as well. A good first step, if you have not already done this, is intentionally inform (via a meeting or eblast or mailing or event) LGBT orgs in your community of the types of legal services you can offer. Additionally, other service providers in the areas you work (DV? Immigration? Housing?) should be a part of that intentional communication, as well. See below for additional ones.
 
 
I am about to begin working with LGBTIQ survivors. Do you have any essential tips to give me?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 Great question and glad you are beginning that work. Email me at askolnik@avp.org and I can connect you with the nearest NCAVP member to you. In earlier posts, this issue is addressed pretty extensively but feel free to email me with specific questions if needed. Thanks!
 
 
Do you have any recommended resources, preferably DVDs, to show to women prisoners regarding this topic?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 Great question. I don't know of any DVDs that really address the unique dynamics of relationship violence specifically in jails, detention centers, and prisons. And there are additional forms of violence and dynamics of bias violence, gender policing, sexual violence, etc and I know of nothing that really talks about that. My Girlfriend Did it is a film about lesbian battering that could be relevant in some ways. I would recommend contacting Just Detention International (formerly Stop Prisoner Rape) www.justdetention.org for more resources.
 
 
I'm seeking information on starting an accountability/intervention group for LGBT batterers at our center against family violence.
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 Or they work actively to prioritize LGBT issues at existing city-wide DV task forces and something like this would probably be necessary to get a group together that is court mandated. One issue with a voluntary group would be general attendance - it is difficult to get LGBT people to come to survivor groups. You'd also want some really good assessment tools in place because when LGBT survivors end up in offender groups, it can be very damaging.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 This is a hugely important area and one which there is not enough information or resources. One first step might be to partner with a local therapist in El Paso who you trust who does batterer intervention effectively in individual therapy, preferably one who has experience working with LGBTQ people but if not, that is the expertise you can bring. Are you wanting the group to be voluntary or court mandated? Some cities and towns have successfully started LGBT DV task forces that include service providers, probation, DAs, judges, and victim advocates all working together to develop something effective that meets the needs of the local community.
 
 
Can you offer a few tips on how a sexual assault center can communicate safety and confidentiality to LGBTIQ survivors in a small rural town?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 I am not sure if I understand your question correctly but do you mean How does one communicate these things in your outreach materials? Or in person or on a hotline when LGBT people come for services? Or both?I think the key is incorporating LGBT language into your existing outreach materials or If thats not possible, printing some specifically for LGBT people. And if you can partner with an LGBT group, even a small informal one, that can be a bog help in getting the word out about the fact that you are LGBT accessible and confidential to LGBT people. See earlier posts for some additional outreach strategies and email me if this doesnt cover what you are asking.
 
 
During heterosexual safety planning, the work place is many times a support where a victim can share pictures of offender and the protection order so that it is less likely the abuser can come to their job without consequence. I find it is not so when servicing victims that are LGBTIQ since there is danger in informing the work place of their sexual orientation. Do you have any tips for safety planning in the work place?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 against a stranger or someone they didn't date, so make sure that is not the case before using this story. Depending on the tactics of abuse that the batterer employs at the persons job, they may even be able to tell their co-workers/boss that this is simply someone harassing them for some other reason not related to romantic or sexual anything. Otherwise, safety planning should include job and legal options in the event work DOES find out or suspect and the person gets fired. Notifying friends or other businesses that may be nearby ones workplace could be helpful, too.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 Great question! This is a huge for LGBT survivors. One thing I have found to be effective in SOME cases (usually only with very gender normative survivors) is to tell the workplace that this batterer or stalker is someone who has been romantically interested in the victim but that the victim has declined interest and this person has persisted. It isn't always necessary to out oneself in order to get protection from folks around the victim, but the risks to this are that people in the workplace will start to suspect that the survivor really IS LGBT. Also in some states, one cannot get a DV PO
 
 
How do you approach the topic of LGBTQI violence when the victims are Police/Fire/EMS themselves and the abusers are their fellow officers/first responders and they do not work for a supportive agency or are still "stealth"?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 This is a critical issue and requires a great deal of safety planning, especially in rural areas. I should clarify - do you mean how does one address it in a training with first responders or in victim advocacy/safety planning? The biggest challenge I've run into with DV abusers in police/DA/other first responder roles has been their ability to track the victim (via their communications, gps, etc) so watch out for that. Other than that, its hard for me to offer general tips seems very case-by-case but very critical. Email me askolnik@avp.org and I can maybe help woth some more specifics or put you in touch with your nearest NCAVP member.
 
 
Do you have examples of good policies for housing transgender victims of violence or could you please point me in the direction of where they may be online or who I can contact to see their policy?
 
1.  Avy Skolnik
 -Information provided to all incoming residents that they may encounter transgender people, a brief explanation of what that means, and a no-harassment policy -And since these policies are more complicated than a no smoking policy for example, regular training for staff as part of an internal policy as well.
 
2.  Avy Skolnik
 One organization with an excellent model policy is Urban Peak, a homeless youth serving shelter, based in Denver, Colorado. I dont know if their policy is online, but if you google them and email them, I bet theyd send it to you.A good policy has the following basic parts:-Provisions that allow transgender people to choose to stay on the mens side, the womens side, or a separate space if available. Whichever they feel the most comfortable with and/or safest in.-Policies that are not based on appearance or surgeries one has had or not had, or on legal documents or doctors notes, but instead based on how people self-identify
 
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