LGBTQI Violence Prevention Needs Assessment
Together with the SF Human Rights Commission and the SF LGBT Community Center, Learning for Action has released a first-of-its-kind Violence Prevention Needs Assessment detailing how members of the LGBTQI community perceive and experience violence and the availability of resources. Commissioned in light of highly publicized attacks against the community, the assessment is meant to inform both local and national decision-makers.
The findings and recommendations shine a light on the ways LGBTQI populations experience violence in SF, and how certain groups within this community are disproportionately affected, especially transgender women of color. Findings from the needs assessment address four key areas affecting LGBTQI communities:
Perceptions of community safety and connectedness: the lack of affordable housing in San Francisco, coupled with a high level of mistrust in police, has exacerbated safety concerns. In particular, transgender members of the community—especially transgender people of color—are 7 times more likely than the community as a whole to feel unsafe and limited by safety concerns.
Experiences of violence: High proportions of the community have experienced physical violence, sexual violence, and harassment, with numbers particularly high for transgender individuals. A substantial portion of respondents experiencing violence have chosen not to report the incidents, for various reasons.
Services for survivors of violence: Survivors are more likely to reach out to informal resources (such as family and friends) than formalized ones. Support services on the other hand, aren’t well equipped to handle the intersectional needs of respondents and are often not visible enough to community members who need them.
Violence prevention: The landscape of violence prevention is a difficult one to define, given institutionalized issues such as lack of funding and dedicated task forces to help push efforts forward. Proposed strategies must include direct participation from the community.
LFA and the LGBT Center presented the report to the Human Rights Commission in early 2015. The Commission has since awarded more than half a million dollars in grants to organizations to address and prevent violence for LGBTQI communities in San Francisco, including several serving transgender community members. The findings from the needs assessment directly informed the decision to focus grantmaking on these organizations. Other advocates and activists have also begun citing the needs assessment, building further awareness of the prevalence of violence in the LGBTQI community and need for effective violence prevention services.