According to 2010 joint policy report from the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) on intimate partner violence and hate violence in the LGBTQI community, individuals in same sex relationships experience violence in their relationships at about the same rate as heterosexual individuals. Current statistics report abuse occurs in about one out of every four heterosexual relationships.
Heterosexual and LGBTQI victims of domestic violence frequently experience similar tactics of coercive control, such as isolation, threats, emotional abuse, economic abuse, intimidation, using children, and minimizing, denying the abuse or placing blame on the victim. These coercive tactics are represented on the Power and Control wheel, developed in Duluth, Minnesota in 1984. Click Here for the wheel. But it is very common that abusive partners often tailor their violence and coercion to prey on unique individual vulnerabilities of the victim. For example, in a LGBTQI relationship, the coercive tactic of “using the children” may resemble threatening to not allow the non-biological parent to visit with or talk to the child. Abusive partners may threaten to “out” survivors to family, employers and/or landlords, which can result in loss of family support, loss of employment and loss of housing. It is important to note that in Ohio, it is not illegal to fire or deny housing to a person who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
SAFE ZONE PROJECT
To ensure that LGBTQI survivors have access to culturally competent agencies that can serve the unique needs of LGBTQI survivors, the statewide LGBTQI Taskforce created the Safe Zone project. The Safe Zone project is designed to help domestic violence programs increase their competency in working with the LGBTQI community. Agencies that engage in the project do so voluntarily and agree to have all staff and volunteers trained in addressing the needs of LGBTQI survivors. Additionally, agencies adapt or change their policies and procedures to be more inclusive of all survivors. Once an agency has completed all of the requirements, they receive a Safe Zone designation. This designation will be displayed on brochures and materials, so that community members will know that they will find a safe and culturally competent agency.
If you with a victim service agency and would like to become a Safe Zone Project site, please contact BRAVO at 614.294.7867 or ODVN at 614.781.9651 ext. 234