Press Release from The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
April 25, 2012
Imagine being beaten up by your partner and trying to get help from a domestic violence shelter only to be turned away. Just because the person who hurt you is the same gender or because your orientation or gender presentation aren’t what they’re used to, you get no help and are put at risk of being hurt again. The fact is that LGBT people experience domestic violence at the same rate as the general population — 25-35% of anyone in a relationship runs the risk of violence.
But there’s a solution at hand. For the very first time, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) includes explicit language that ensures that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people can get the services they deserve at their local shelter or precinct. Contact your senator right nowand make sure they KEEP the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) protections in the bill when they vote on it this week.
Every victim of domestic violence deserves access to these life-saving protections and should not be afraid to ask for them. In a 2010 study, 96% of victim services and law enforcement agencies said that they did not have specific services for LGBT victims. And right now, only one in five survivors of same-gender sexual assault and intimate partner violence receive victim services.
We can change this. Act now to ensure that all survivors have services they can turn to when the worst happens.