The Rainbow Response Coalition has been awarded $50,000 by the District to help address domestic violence in the LGBTQ community. The Mayor’s Office of Victim Services FY 2014 Cultural Capacity and Language Access grant is a six-month planning award; all funds from the award will be used to design a holistic district-wide healthy relationships education and outreach campaign for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) communities – a growing population in the District.
“What we know is that roughly 33 percent of all LGBTQ people will be a victim of partner violence in their lifetime. Our city and our communities are in need of immediate response and this is an exciting opportunity to bring much needed community and educational awareness to LGBTQ intimate partner violence,” says June Crenshaw, chair of Rainbow Response.
“Dating and partner violence is a serious issue within our community,” says Paul Ashton board member and research committee chair of Rainbow Response. “Our research findings are on par with what is experienced in heterosexual relationships and warrants our community’s needed attention and focus to ensure that all survivors, particularly LGBTQ survivors of partner violence, have adequate resources and services available to help them.”
The outreach campaign will center on education tailored specifically to address the needs of LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual assault, and will include the creation of a website, three town hall forums, and two youth poetry slams.
“This grant is a true testament to our work and devotion over the years,” says Crenshaw. “Promoting education around healthy relationships is at the heart of Rainbow Response’s mission. We’d like to thank the Mayor’s Office of Victim Services for this award and the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their support on this issue and our organization.”
The Rainbow Response Coalition is a seven-year-old grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to educating communities and breaking the silence around LGBTQ intimate partner violence in Washington, D.C. Rainbow Response has hosted numerous town halls, conducted research in the District on domestic violence and developed a training module for the Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.