Intimate Partner Violence and the LGBTQ Community

By Chai Jindasurat
New York City Anti-Violence Project

As we reflect during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I’d like to take a moment to lift up the work of advocates and organizers in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities who have championed the cause of ending intimate partner violence (IPV) in LGBTQ communities.

Intimate partner violence is a pervasive and deadly form of violence in LGBTQ communities. Last year, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) documented 21 IPV-related homicides of LGBTQ people in 2012. NCAVP also found that roughly half of the IPV homicide victims in 2012 were men, and half were people of color.  The Centers for Disease Control’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation found that LGB people experience intimate partner violence at similar or higher rates as non-LGB people.

Shoes That Make a Statement

By Lori Weckerly, J.D.
Manager, Becky’s House® Domestic Violence Programs, YWCA of San Diego County

The YWCA of San Diego County invites San Diegans to take a stand against intimate-partner violence by donning pumps and “walking a mile” in the shoes of survivors. The annual Walk A Mile fundraiser supports the YWCA’s Becky’s House® Domestic Violence Programs, residential and supportive services for survivors and their children. The event brings together our community in a show of support for victims and to raise awareness about an issue that is still too often minimized. Women and men, young and old, survivors and advocates join the YWCA of San Diego County to march through the streets in a mass of high heels of all shapes, heights and outrageous colors. In so doing, they make a statement with every step: a statement that women and men can take a stand against domestic violence.

There is No Excuse for Abuse: Together We Can End Violence against Women

By Linda Cavaioli
Executive Director, YWCA Central Massachusetts

Linda Cavaioli

Linda Cavaioli

The key to ending domestic violence lies in awareness, education, and action. When the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed 26 years ago, these goals were at the forefront of the movement. While things have changed quite a bit since 1987, the fact is we still have a long way to go to put an end to violence against women and girls.

Top Five on Friday – October 11

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

How safe are you online? If you’ve ever used a computer or a phone to do your banking, pay your taxes, shop or meet potential dates, you’ve put yourself at risk for identity theft, stalking and more. Teens and students who use social networking profiles face online bullying, sometimes to tragic results. Luckily, there are campaigns like Stop.Think.Connect.’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month, helping us all stay safer online as technology becomes more accessible and popular.

Capitol Hill Day 2013: A National Day of Action on Immigration Reform

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy, YWCA USA

YWCA Executive Directors, CEOs, Board Members and staff were on Capitol Hill today, advocating for the passage of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) that protects the safety, security, and opportunity of immigrant women, girls and their families.

It was a historic year for Capitol Hill Day. This was the highest attendance ever recorded since Hill Day started in 2006, with 288 attendees making their rounds with Senators and Representatives, and a total of 291 visits with Republicans and Democrats alike.  It is truly impressive to have had so many waves of persimmon walking through the halls of Congress, bringing with them a unified message about CIR. Kendra Woodall, Board Member of YWCA Lorain, said: “”I have always wanted to help people and get rid of the injustices in America. Being at the YWCA USA Annual Conference has elevated my interest in immigration reform and politics.”

Why We Advocate for Abused and Neglected Children

By Claire Morgan
YWCA Clark County

When Linda, 13, and Kevin, 10, were first assigned their CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), serious allegations of physical abuse, lack of supervision, and neglect had surfaced with a focus on their stepmother and older step-siblings. Their father was out of the house working, and was rarely around to support his children. The children had been sent to school injured, dirty and neglected on multiple occasions. At the time, their social worker had determined that she was unable to inspire change with the parents or remove the children from the home.

The CASA worked tirelessly as an intermediary between the school, a potential foster family, the social worker and the children’s parents and grandparents. Through her efforts, a viable foster care placement was found, and Linda and Kevin’s grandfather was able to be involved in a solution for their long-term care.

This is just one example of the more than 850 children who have been protected from abuse during 2012 through the CASA Program of YWCA Clark County.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: A Call to Change our Culture

By Rick Azzaro, LCSW, Chief Services Officer
YWCA York

In a time of broad and pervasive disagreement on a variety of social issues, most of us agree that all forms of sexual violence are despicable. Most of us are not rapists or child sexual predators. Most of us don’t believe that we will be a victim of sexual assault. We also don’t believe our family or friends will fall prey.

Yet all of us will know a victim, and all of us are susceptible to the influence of a rape culture in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices and media excuse, tolerate or even condone sexual violence.

We are barraged by media voyeurism in which the coach molests boys, the high school students rape a girl, the clergy molest and cover up, the college turns a blind eye to rape accusations, the scout leader is indicted, and politicians state that pregnancy does not result from rape or sexual assault does not happen on our college campuses.

The names change and we witness it all once again.