Give & Learn
For the next few weeks, NJCASA will be sharing content related to our upcoming Creating Transformative Spaces Conference (Nov 30th and Dec 1st)
For this week’s Give and Learn, The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault is exploring the topic of Supporting Trans and Non-binary Survivors. Transgender and non-binary individuals are often targeted for hate crimes and violence, and experience extremely high rates of sexual violence, with black trans women often experiencing the highest rates of assault.
Learn more about decreasing barriers to services for trans and non-binary survivors and about strategies for shifting harmful social norms to prevent acts of violence against the trans and non-binary community below and by attending our Creating Transformative Spaces Conference. And remember, to contribute to NJCASA’s work in supporting survivors of sexual violence and building safer, more empowered communities across New Jersey, please donate to us on Giving Tuesday, November 29th! We’re grateful for your support and collaboration!
Supporting Trans and Non-binary Survivors
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, nearly half of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives, and these rates are even
higher for trans people of color and those who have done sex work, been homeless, or have a disability. Despite this alarming statistic, the needs of trans and non-binary survivors of sexual assault are rarely discussed. So how do we provide more welcoming and supportive care to trans and nonbinary survivors?
Signaling inclusivity in every aspect of our work, from our websites and resources (e.g., factsheets) to our intake forms, is an important first step, since trans and nonbinary individuals rarely see themselves represented or their identities included in affirming ways. However, much more needs to be done than just updating program materials and documents, and, in fact, making only superficial changes can create false expectations and cause further harm. This is where training is essential. The Transgender Training Institute in Philadelphia is an ideal resource, as they are a team of transgender and non-binary educators who facilitate professional development and personal growth trainings tailored for a wide range of clients, including sexual violence service providers. Check out their Teaching Transgender Toolkit for a collection of 30 lesson plans designed to support facilitators in implementing impactful Transgender 101+ Trainings.
Also, New Jersey represents the first state in the country to have a Transgender Equality Taskforce. The recommendations of the taskforce were released in 2019 and include the following:
- Collection of SOGI Data: The task force recommended that the State begin to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data across state agencies.
- Training at State Agencies: The report recommends anti-discrimination training for state employees on how to serve transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people, ensuring both compliance with the law and greater access to programs to services.
- Public Outreach: The task force recommends that certain state agencies engage in strategic outreach to transgender communities, including the creation and dissemination of “Know Your Rights” materials related to non-discrimination law.
- Law Enforcement Guidelines: The task force urges the Attorney General’s Office to develop and issue guidelines ensuring respectful, non-discriminatory treatment of transgender people by all state law enforcement agencies. This includes appropriate search procedures, respectful communication including proper use of pronouns, and a prohibition of profiling based on transgender status. It also asks the Juvenile Justice Commission to develop comprehensive policies for dealing appropriately with transgender youth in the juvenile justice system.
Using these guidelines to inform our own work as advocates represents another step towards better serving trans and nonbinary survivors in our communities. For additional resources, visit:
- Resources Trans Lifeline translifeline.org 1-877-565-8860
- Demonstrate LGBTQ Access demonstrateaccess.org
- CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers lgbtcenters.org
- FORGE forge-forward.org
- Anti-Violence Project avp.org
- National Center for Transgender Equality transequality.org
- Transgender Law Center transgenderlawcenter.org
To learn more, join us on Day-One of Creating Transformative Spaces for our workshop entitled “Sexual Violence and Gender Identity: Supporting Trans and Non-Binary Survivors.”
And support our work by making a donation now and/or on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022