City of Alexandria, VA
The Sexual Assault Center (SAC) and Domestic Violence Program (DVP) serve ALL survivors of violence, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) survivors.
Research estimates that 25% to 33% of LGBTQ relationships are abusive (the same percentage as in heterosexual relationships). Abusive LGBTQ relationships have the same dynamics of power and control as abusive heterosexual relationships; however, abusers also take advantage of a heterosexist and homophobic society. For example, some abusers threaten to "out" the survivor to parents, friends or employers, which could have detrimental consequences for the survivor.
Further, people who identify as LGBTQ often experience sexual violence and hate crimes from family members, acquaintances, partners or strangers. Regrettably, many service providers are not culturally competent and equipped to serve LGBTQ survivors. Due to these barriers, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and hate crimes against LGBTQ people frequently go undetected and unreported.
The Sexual Assault Center and the Domestic Violence Program have been working since 2007 to intensify efforts to improve services and outreach to survivors who identify as LGBTQ. A LGBTQ Task Force made up of committed community members and City employees was established. The Task Force is guided by this goal: To enhance the quality and sensitivity of Alexandria’s sexual and domestic violence services to persons who identify as LGBTQ so that survivors from these communities will receive informed and respectful treatment and will feel more comfortable accessing services.
Since the advent of this project, more than 2000 service providers in the City of Alexandria have been trained on how to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ community members.
If you or a friend have survived or are surviving sexual or intimate partner violence, please call our trained hotline staff for support.
Listen to a podcast about the services the City provides to LGBTQ survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Coming Out Resources for Youth and Parents