June 2023 Crime Victim Services joins the LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate Pride Month. Recognized each June, this month honors the anniversary of the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn—often considered a tipping point in the LGBTQ+ rights movement as patrons fought back against homophobia and police brutality—and now encompasses all kinds of events and celebrations across the country and around the world.
Pride Month also includes remembrance of LGBTQIA+ community members who have been hurt and killed due to discrimination and violence. Everyone deserves to live safely and freely, regardless of their gender or sexuality, but members of the LGBTQIA+ community often face structural and systemic barriers that prevent them from accessing support and living without fear.
According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 61.1% of bisexual women, 43.8% of lesbian women, 37.3% of bisexual men, and 26% of gay men have reported experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or stalking from a partner during their lifetime—compared to 35% of heterosexual women and 29% of heterosexual men. The U.S. Transgender Survey found that 54% of respondents have experienced some form of violence from a partner, and 24% have experienced severe violence.
Abusive partners often take advantage of deep-seated discrimination and societal bias to discredit LGBTQIA+ survivors and keep them from accessing resources and support. For LGBTQIA+ survivors living at the intersections of various marginalized identities, abusers often weaponize the barriers they face as a tool to gain further power and control over them. LGBTQIA+ survivors with disabilities, who are people of color, who are immigrants, or who face other kinds of discrimination and harm based on their identities can face greater, and more substantial, obstacles to accessing help and support.
Crime Victim Services works at several levels to help protect the safety of the LGBTQIA+ community, including LGBTQIA+ survivors, while providing inclusive, appropriate resources and advocacy services. “It’s important that every victim feels safe seeking the support and care that they deserve. We work very hard to make sure that our clients feel respected, honored and cared for throughout the entire process. And we hope that message reaches survivors across our community. You are welcome here and we believe you,” said Becca Peckinpaugh, director of Day One.
When LGBTQ+ survivors are believed and supported—and when the programs serving them have the necessary resources and staff to provide this support—it can make a world of difference. Crime Victim Services stands with LGBTQ+ survivors and their communities as we continue to celebrate pride and work toward a future free from violence & oppression.