Rainbow Response Receives Grant

Coalition focusing on LGBTQ intimate partner violence will use funds, courtesy of Office of Victims Services, to launch healthy relationships campaign

The Mayor’s Office of Victims Services on Tuesday awarded a $50,000 planning grant to the Rainbow Response Coalition, the local grassroots advocacy organization focusing on LGBTQ intimate partner violence, to help address domestic violence in the District’s growing LGBTQ community.

The grant, known as the Cultural Capacity and Language Access Grant, is a six-month planning award that will be used to design and carry out a District-wide education and outreach campaign focusing on healthy relationships in the LGBTQ communities, which have struggled with a rise in domestic violence in recent years.

“What we know is that roughly 33 percent of all LGBTQ people will be a victim of partner violence in their lifetime,” June Crenshaw, chair of Rainbow Response, said in a statement. “Our city and our communities are in need of immediate response and this is an exciting opportunity to bring much needed community and educational awareness to LGBTQ intimate partner violence.”

“Dating and partner violence is a serious issue within our community,” added Paul Ashton, board member and research committee chair of Rainbow Response. “Our research findings are on par with what is experienced in heterosexual relationships and warrants our community’s needed attention and focus to ensure that all survivors, particularly LGBTQ survivors of partner violence, have adequate resources and services available to help them.”

The outreach and education campaign will be tailored to address the specific needs and concerns of LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking or sexual assault. Initiatives or events carried out by the campaign will include a website to serve as a resource for victims, three town hall forums, and two youth poetry slams.

“This grant is a true testament to our work and devotion over the years,” Crenshaw said in her statement. “Promoting education around healthy relationships is at the heart of Rainbow Response’s mission. We’d like to thank the Mayor’s Office of Victims Services for this award and the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their support on this issue and our organization.”

For more information on Rainbow Response, visit www.rainbowresponse.org or contact Paul Ashton at pashton@rainbowresponse.org.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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