You’re Safe Here

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You’re Safe Here

Categories: Advocacy, Center for Safety and Empowerment, News

YWCA Supports LGBTQ+ Survivors 

The YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment supports all survivors, and serves survivors of all gender identities and sexual orientation and identities. Advocates are available 24/7 for anyone experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking or human trafficking in Northeast Kansas. Advocates can be reached on our FREE and CONFIDENTIAL helpline: 1-888-822-2983. 

Each Survivor’s Story is Valid 

Women of all sexual identities bear the disproportionate burden of gender-based violence, but we also must recognize the diverse experiences of survivors who represent any and all genders, identities, and sexual orientations.  

LGBTQIA+, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual and non-binary communities often represent a direct contradiction to expected and assigned gender roles in society, and as a result, are at heightened risk of gender-based violence. In addition, LGBTQIA+ survivors face additional systemic, cultural, and structural barriers to reporting and seeking help and support, such as being denied access to domestic violence shelters and the lack of competent services in their community.

LGBTQIA+ survivors also face unique forms of abuse, including fear of isolation and ostracization, shame and embarrassment around identity, refusal to respect pronouns and chosen name, fear of not receiving services because of discrimination and stereotypes, and the fact that legal protections for LGBTQIA+ people vary by state.  

At YWCA Northeast Kansas, we value each survivor’s unique experience, and we continue to work toward being a safe place for LGBTQ+ survivors. In 2021, non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid, gender non-conforming individuals, transmen, and transwomen received services through the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, including stays in our emergency shelters and support during forensic exams at the hospital. 

The Facts 

  • LGBTQ+ communities experience higher rates of intimate partner violence and sexual assault than heterosexual and cisgender communities. (Williams Institute UCLA) 
  • Several studies have shown that LGBTQ+ survivors are reluctant to call police for help because of racial and gender profiling, the threat of sexual and physical violence by law enforcement, and the fear of being misgendered. (Urban Institute) 
  • Approximately 43.8% of lesbian women, 61.1% of bisexual women have been raped in their lifetime. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey) 
  • 26% of gay men, 37% of bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual men experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. (National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey) 
  • The U.S. Transgender Survey found that 54% of respondents have experienced some form of violence from a partner, and 24% have experienced severe violence.  
  • In a national survey, more than 60% of LGBTQ+ sexual and domestic violence survivors said they were denied access to domestic violence shelters. (National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs) 

Read More 

Support YWCA, Support LGBTQ+ Survivors 

As a member of the largest network of domestic violence service providers in the United States, YWCA Northeast Kansas not only provides non-judgmental, comprehensive support to survivors of all genders and sexualities, but also works toward systemic changes and legislation that is comprehensive and inclusive of the needs of all victims of gender-based violence, particularly those who face increased barriers to safety, such as Native women, immigrants, communities of color, LGBTQ+ victims, and those with multiple marginalized identities.   

Everyone deserves to live safely and freely, regardless of their gender or sexuality. From our advocacy efforts to the individual services provided to all survivors, we want you to know: You are safe here.