May 19, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IOWA’S ONLY LGBTQIA+ SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGENCY DEFUNDED
Des Moines, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
In April, the Iowa Legislature approved a 26% cut from the state’s victim services— Last week, Transformative Healing was informed that the Crime Victim Assistance Division (CVAD) is completely defunding our organization. Transformative Healing is the only sexual violence agency in Iowa that provides comprehensive advocacy services specifically for LGBTQIA+ survivors, survivors in the BDSM/Kink community, and survivors engaged in consensual non-monogamy.
These funds made our work possible, and as a young organization almost entirely dependent on state and federal victim services funds, this devastating cut could lead to the complete halt of services. We have been serving LGBTQIA+ survivors for almost 3 years, and in that time we’ve seen tremendous growth. We provide free and confidential services to survivors and their support systems. These individual services to survivors include transportation, accompaniment to medical appointments or court dates, peer counseling, emergency financial assistance, and more. Our services also include statewide technical assistance to educate others about LGBTQIA+ identities and issues. Our trainings have reached SANE nurses, shelter providers, other advocates, classrooms, resource centers, the justice system, and beyond. We strive for change within many levels of our society and know that true social change occurs not in isolation, but in collaboration and partnership.
We are one of seven culturally specific advocacy organizations in the state of Iowa, and the need for these specialized services is dire. We know that LGBTQIA+ individuals are routinely underserved, and may even be re-victimized when accessing mainstream services systems. Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are especially targeted, and even denied services out right. This is in addition to other barriers stemming from anti-LGBTQIA+ bias, as well as discrimination and bias regarding other identities our clients hold whether it be race/ethnicity, class, religion, age, ability, citizenship status, and more. Transformative Healing recognizes the systems and influences that work against our clients, while also recognizing the incredible resiliency within the LGBTQIA+ community. We center our work around our clients, and provide any support needed to draw on these strengths. Our clients deserve to receive care that validates their identities and acknowledges their worth and power.
Defunding Transformative Healing means defunding LGBTQIA+ specific care for survivors of trauma. It means that people who already face a multiplicity of marginalizations will not be able to access services. It means Iowa is taking leaps backwards.
For more information, and further action items, contact our executive director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-389-8430.