The Women’s Center, Inc. provides a welcoming and non-judgmental atmosphere to all clients and their family members who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ Community.
Services Offered Include:
- Individual, Group, or Children’s Counseling
- Emergency Shelter for victims of domestic or sexual violence identifying as LGBTQ+
- 24 hour crisis hotline
- Legal Advocacy and Accompaniment: includes help filing PFAs and court accompaniment. The Legal Department also has Legal Information Packets on topics such as Stalking, Divorce, and Transgender Name Change Information.
- Medical Advocacy Program: advocacy and counseling with patients of domestic violence or sexual assault in a hospital setting. This includes providing information/advocating for issues that may be specific to the LGBTQ+ Community, such as advocating for HIV antibiotics if a Forensic Rape Exam occurs.
- Education Programs: TWC offers an array of topics relating to domestic violence and sexual assault that can be adjusted to meet the requirements of the audience. We offer a variety of education programs about Diversity and Inclusion, Working with Transgender Survivors, and Broadening Your Approach which focuses on various forms of oppression and privilege.
Intimate Partner Violence and the LGBTQ+ Community
There are several forms of violence that present specific to the LGBTQ+ population:
Threat of Outing
“If you do this, i will tell you [parents, friends, etc.] you are gay.”
The threat of outing can be used as a way to control another person. Someone who is closeted might not only feel afraid of stigmatization and rejection from their significant others, but also face serious repercussions from various institutions from a forced outing.
Gender/Sexual-Orientation based Insults
“You are not gay enough,” “You are too gay,” or “You say you’re bisexual because you want to sleep around,” or “You are too butch to be a real woman.”
Putting someone down is a classic form of emotional/verbal abuse because through insults a person erodes someone else’s self-esteem. However, the type of insults abusers use can vary according to race, gender identity, culture, or sexual orientation.
Withholding or Selling Medication
Any person can withhold or sell their partner’s medication. In the LGBTQ+ community this could have serious implications. if a person is transitioning they may have to take hormonal replacement therapies. Being deprived access to those hormones not only means the person will be slowed in their transitioning process but they may face an increased probability of discrimination.
Obstacles to Seeking Services:
- Lack of resources: not sure where to go or who to ask for help.
- Closeted Individuals: survivors whoa re closeted might not know where to seek support because they fear outing themselves. They may also not want to file a PFA because it is public record.
- Homophobia/Transphobia: Some survivors are afraid they won’t be able to find inclusive services.