Target: U.S. House of Representatives
Goal: Oppose a new domestic violence bill that doesn’t prevent discrimination against LGBT victims
Victims of abuse unfortunately come from all walks of life. Domestic violence affects people in all demographics, despite the media’s persistent tendency to portray it as primarily a straight, white, cisgender women’s issue. But not all anti-abuse resources welcome queer victims who have suffered abuse at the hands of a loved one. A new domestic violence bill about to move through the House doesn’t prevent the programs it would fund from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender victims.
Members of the queer community are just as vulnerable to domestic violence as straight women. And transgender women face a much higher risk of violence whether at the hands of a stranger or a trusted partner. But under H.R. 4970, a shelter for abused women would be free to turn away queer or transgender victims, forcing them to return to their abusers or risk living on the streets. There’s no provision in the bill preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. If it were to become law, it would put thousands of victims in serious danger of having nowhere to turn.
The Violence Against Women Act reauthorized by the Senate last month included three provisions ensuring that LGBT victims would have access to the same resources as any other victims. H.R. 4970 still notably omits any such provisions. Tell the House of Representatives that LGBT victims of domestic violence should never have to face discrimination on top of abuse. Sign the petition below today.
Dear U.S. House of Representatives,
Even though members of the LGBT community face the serious problem of domestic abuse, the new anti-violence bill about to pass through the House contains no provisions ensuring queer victims have access to the resources they desperately need. Under H.R. 4970, nothing would prevent violence shelters and other post-trauma resources from denying entry to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender victims. These victims already face serious discrimination when law enforcement officials, judges and service providers refuse to take their case seriously. With nowhere else to turn, many end up returning to their abusers.
This country needs more resources for victims of domestic violence, but we also need to ensure that any new resources are available to all who must seek them. I ask that you oppose this exclusive bill and work toward promoting new anti-abuse legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
[Your Name Here]