HRC Marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Human Rights Campaign
October 24, 2012

Today the Human Rights Campaign is marking Domestic Violence Awareness Month in conjunction with the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Domestic violence is a serious problem that impacts everyone. HRC and NCLR hope to call attention to intimate partner violence within the LGBT community and the continued need for Congress to reauthorize an inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Studies indicate that LGBT people experience domestic violence at roughly the same rate as the general population. However, LGBT victims are often denied access to domestic violence services, turned away from shelters, mis-arrested as the primary aggressor and denied orders of protection because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The inclusive VAWA reauthorization bill that was passed with bipartisan support in the Senate earlier this year recognizes that the LGBT community is an underserved population and allows service providers access to grant money for programs that target the community. Beyond providing grants to ensure LGBT victims of domestic violence have access to services, the bill also prohibits service providers receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the provision of services.

The version of VAWA passed by the Senate is a comprehensive, bipartisan, and cost-effective strategy for combatting domestic violence that was drafted based on input from more than 2,000 law enforcement, court, prosecution, legal services, and victim services professionals from across the country. The version that passed in the House reflects the political objectives of House Republican Leadership, but not the needs of victims. Use the infographics below on Facebook and Twitter to send the message that it is time to put an inclusive VAWA bill on the President’s desk.