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 shows that intimate partner violence exists in LGBTQ relationships at the same rate as in heterosexual and gender conforming relationships. Abusive LGBTQ relationships have similar dynamics of power and control as other abusive relationships; however, abusers also take advantage of a heterosexist and homophobic society. As one example, some abusers threaten to "out" the survivor to parents, friends or employers, which could have detrimental consequences for the survivor.
In addition, 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 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 create safe and inclusive services for LGBTQ people so that survivors from these communities will receive informed and respectful treatment and will feel safer accessing services.
Since the advent of this project, the LGBTQ Task Force has partnered with a number of City agencies and community organizations to train more than 3,000 service providers on how to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ community members. Service providers include social workers, counselors, advocates, police officers, deputy sheriffs, prosecutors, teachers, administrators, supervisors, healthcare professionals, firefighters, and other City employees. What began as a goal within the sexual and domestic violence programs has grown into a City-wide effort.
For more information or to join the LGBTQ Task Force, contact the Division Chief for the Sexual Assault Center and Domestic Violence Program, Debra Evans firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or a friend have survived or are surviving sexual or intimate partner violence, please call our trained hotline staff for support.
- Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence Hotline: 703.746.4911
- Sexual Assault Center (SAC) Hotline: 703.683.7273
- Listen to a podcast about the services the City provides to LGBTQ survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
- Virginia Anti-Violence Project
- Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance
- National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs - Call: 212.714.1184 or 1.800.832.1901
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Power and Control Wheel
- National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (LGBTQ Publications Page)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
- FORGE - Information, training, and technical assistance about transgender survivors of violence
- Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- Gender Spectrum Education and Training
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Human Rights Campaign
Resources for Youth and Parents
- How to Come Out to Family and Friends – Tips and resources for coming out
- The Trevor Project - The leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth
- Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network
- PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
- Side by Side (formerly Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth ROSMY) - www.rosmy.org
- Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL), Washington, DC - www.smyal.org
- Supportive Families Healthy Children: Helping Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Children - A publication from the The Family Acceptance Project
- Helping Families Support Their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Children - A brief by Dr. Caitlin Ryan, Director of The Family Acceptance Project
- Gay Family Support - A website written by parents of gay children for parents who just found out their son/daughter is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
- My Child is Gay! Now What Do I Do? - Resources for parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth
- Family Acceptance - A website written by parents for parents based on one family's experience
- Coming Out in Middle School - NY Times Article