Competencies to Reduce Barriers for LGBT Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

This infographic lists practices that service providers can incorporate to adress the service berrriers facd by LGBT individuals, it also provides examples of what these practices can entail.

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Competencies to Reduce Barriers


Examples Include:

Be aware of your own beliefs and knowledge about LGBT individuals Reflect on how your own identities, personal biases, and cultural experiences affect your practice
Listen to LGBT voices and become familiar with LGBT culture Attend educational events sponsored by LGBT organizations

Build working alliances with LGBT organizations
Challenge homo/bi/transphobia in your agency Confront statements and jokes that discriminate or make fun of LGBT people or communities

Establish zero indifference to and consequences for LGBT discrimination (e.g. policies, LGBT competence training)
Make it visible that LGBT clients are welcome and belong in your organization Include LGBT partner abuse in outreach materials

Assess inclusivity of organization (e.g. Positive Spaces Initiative through OCASI)
Use inclusive language Use the terms partner or spouse when asking about sexual or abusive partner Approach intake questions in a sensitive, openended manner that allows for disclosure of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, experiences of abuse, and trauma
Offer programs that are responsive and accessible to LGBT individuals and families Separate group programs for LGBT survivors and abusive partners to reduce impact of heterosexism and homo/bi/transphobia

Address violence in LGBT parent relationships in children’s exposure to violence groups
Establish service protocols that promote the safety of both partners in abusive LGBT relationships Respect confidentiality and refrain from “outing” client to others without explicit permission
Distinguish abused partner from the abusive partner Assess for a dominant aggressor in cases of so called “mutual violence”

Do not assume person accompanying LGBT survivor to appointment is not the abusive partner
Establish an empathetic and nonjudgmental relationship with LGBT clients Recognize that LGBT relationships are valid

Refer to clients and their partners with the words and pronouns used by the client
Develop strength-based safety plans Build on the strengths of the LGBT individual (e.g. individual’s “family of choice”) as well as the strengths of the rainbow community (e.g. resources)

Be aware that resources for IPV survivors may be unavailable to, or viewed as not accessible by, LGBT clients (e.g. shelters for transgender or gay survivors)

This infographic emerged from Issue-Based Newsletter 12: Intimate Partner Violence in Rainbow Communities.