LGBTQ Anti-Violence Organizations: #BlackLivesMatter and We Must Reallocate Government Budgets from Policing to Survivor Services


Ericka Dixon, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
Audacia Ray, New York City Anti-Violence Project 

As anti-violence organizations that provide direct services for and advocacy with LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of hate, intimate partner, and sexual violence, we affirm that #BlackLivesMatter and demand that city, county, and state governments commit to reallocating funding from police departments to human services agencies, including LGBTQ and survivor-centered services. In this moment of deep unrest and uncertainty, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and in the wake of the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Florida, we demand that police funding be reallocated to organizations that prioritize Black lives and support survivors.

As anti-violence organizations, we work to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals in reducing harm, and healing from the trauma those harms cause, as survivors of violence. For Black, indigenous, and people of color survivors, surviving homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic violence from a partner, acquaintance, family member, landlord, roommate, employer, coworker, or other individual is often paired with and compounded by racist and anti-Black violence they experience from the state. LGBTQ Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) survivors are not safe when our city, county, and state budgets prioritize the expansion of policing and continue to starve social services. Survivors are often criminalized for acts of survival, and instead of getting the care necessary to survive and thrive, their trauma is increased by harassment and violence they experience at the hands of the police. In order to work toward solutions that truly end violence, we must stand up against policing as a solution, and push for the reallocation of police funding to support community-based, trauma-informed organizations that support survivors, especially organizations that are led by BIPOC community leaders.

Our organizations operate with a survivor-centered framework, and this means supporting survivors in exploring all their options for healing and justice. For many survivors, this looks like receiving counseling support from our organizations, peer support from other survivors, and developing political education to connect their individual experiences with their communities and  building power with other survivors. Some survivors want to work with the government or state agencies to get an order of protection or even to bring charges against a person who has done them harm. We support these survivors in doing what they need to do to feel safe. 

We also believe that long-term, our communities are not safer when government budgets prioritize policing over human services that include health care, housing, education, and services for survivors of violence. During a pandemic in which LGBTQ people of color are vulnerable to illness, job loss, and housing instability, and in which Black people are dying at disproportionately higher rates, it is unconscionable for governments to fund police departments at the same or higher levels, while cutting social services. It’s time for budgets to prioritize people and social services over policing.

If you would like to add your organization to statement, sign on here.

Current Signatories:

  1. Advocacy Center of Tompkins County
  2. ALIVE
  3. Barrier Free Living Inc.
  4. Black and Latino LGBTQ Coalition
  5. Brooklyn Community Pride Center
  6. California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
  7. Catholic Charities
  8. Center for Safety & Change
  9. Center for Survivor Agency & Justice
  10. Chosen Family Law Center, Inc.
  11. City University of New York School of Law
  12. CUAV
  13. Day One
  14. Diverse and Resilient
  15. Domestic Violence Project
  16. Equality New York
  17. Fenway Health — Violence Recovery Program
  18. GAPIMNY — Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders
  19. Gender Equality New York
  20. Haven Partners Group
  21. Human Rights at Home Clinic Mass Law
  22. Illinois Accountability Initiative
  23. Jane Doe Inc. MA Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
  24. Legal Aid Society
  25. Los Angeles LGBT Center
  26. MenChallenging
  27. North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence
  28. NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse
  29. NYC Anti-Violence Project
  30. OutFront Minnesota
  31. Pacific Coast Counseling
  32. Positive Sum Consulting
  33. Pride Center of Vermont
  34. Rachel Weiss
  35. Rainbow Community Cares
  36. Safe Horizon
  37. Sakhi for South Asian Women
  38. Self
  39. St. Loui Anti-Violence Project
  40. Legal Aid Society
  41. The Legal Project
  42. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
  43. LGBTQ Center Long Beach
  44. The Montrose Center
  45. Trans Pride Initiative
  46. Violence Recovery Program of Fenway Health
  47. Willow Domestic Violence Center NY
  48. WINGS Foundation
  49. YMCA of Genesee Count
  50. ZA’AKAH