Fact: The LGBTQ community experiences these types of violence as the approximately the same rate as non-LGBTQ victims– 25-33% of relationships -- however, they often face unique barriers to receiving services.
Myth: Provisions addressing the LGBTQ community in VAWA are expanding services to a whole new population not previously covered and/or mandating LGBTQ specific programs in every state.
Fact: LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking and dating violence are already receiving services under VAWA. However, LGBTQ survivors face additional barriers when accessing services. The proposed changes help make clear to STOP state administrators and others the LGBTQ individual and programs can be served and funded under VAWA.
Myth: Including non-discrimination provisions protecting the LGBTQ community will expose service providers to litigation hurting all survivors.
Fact: Enforcement authority for this provision lies with the Department of Justice. If DOJ finds that a service provider receiving federal funding is violating the non-discrimination provision, they must give the provider notice and a chance to stop discriminating. Otherwise the Department is able to stop the funds going to the service provider discriminating against victims.
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)