AVP Action Brief: White House Signals Lack of Support for Transgender Students; Trump’s Immigration Rules and Enforcement Hurt Survivors of Violence

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

White House Signals Lack of Support for Transgender Students

The Trump administration is poised to overturn federal guidance that protects transgender students in schools. Title IX is a federal law that states that no person can be discriminated against on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. Guidance issued under the Obama administration clarified for educators that Title IX’s protections include the right of transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.  While overturning this guidance will not change the law, it sends a message that this administration does not and will not support the rights of transgender students who already face disproportionate bullying, harassment and violence in schools. All students deserve safe environments in which to learn, and we must continue to demand that school officials ensure transgender students are protected.

Trump’s Immigration Rules and Enforcement Hurt Survivors of Violence

Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security released a set of new rules for how they will carry out the Trump administration’s executive orders on immigration. Immigration officials will be expected to deport anyone convicted of any criminal offense (not just serious crimes, as was policy under the Obama administration). The rules also seek to expand the government’s ability to deny entry into the U.S. or deport people from the U.S. without giving them the right to be heard by a judge. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security has been directed to hire 10,000 new immigration and customs agents, expand the number of detention facilities, and increase the use of local law enforcement to assist with deportations. These steps will likely tear apart families, deny immigrants their right to due process and result in the profiling and targeting of millions of people.

Trump’s executive orders are already having a profound and horrifying impact on many in our communities, and these new rules make it clear that things will only get worse. Two weeks ago, an undocumented transgender woman named Ms. Gonzalez who is a survivor of domestic violence was arrested by immigration officials in an El Paso, Texas courthouse where she was obtaining a protective order against her abusive partner. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which AVP coordinates, and the Transgender Law Center issued a statement denouncing the arrest and calling for the survivor’s immediate release.

Right here in New York City many immigrant survivors of violence, documented and undocumented, who receive services from AVP have reported feeling fear and anxiety about being profiled or arrested. AVP has seen a significant increase in non English-speaking hotline callers and clients. Some clients, however are afraid to leave their homes, to appear in court, or even to access our services. As a result, AVP s continues to find ways to make our services and programs safe and accessible for all. We offer counseling sessions by phone and we continue to partner with other organizations to bring our free legal clinics to communities throughout the city.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Call the Department of Education comment line: (800) 872-5327 or switchboard: (202) 401-3000 to voice your support of protections for transgender students under Title IX.
  • Sign the Transgender Law Center’s petition for the release of Ms. Gonzalez, the undocumented transgender domestic violence survivor detained in El Paso, Texas. Show your support online using the hashtag #FreeMsGonzalez.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent government actions, please encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. You will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

Further reading:

New York Times: New Trump Deportation Rules Allow Far More Expulsions
Mother Jones: Jeff Sessions Is in Charge of Enforcing the Violence Against Women Act, and Victims’ Advocates Are Worried
NBC: Spicer: Expect New Transgender Student Policy Wednesday
Via NBC: Draft Bathroom Guidance Letter

 

National LGBTQ Organizations Denounce the Arrest of a Transgender Survivor of Domestic Violence By Ice Officers in El Paso, Texas

NATIONAL – The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and Transgender Law Center denounce the arrest by immigration authorities of an undocumented transgender woman who is a survivor of domestic violence, and call for her immediate release. She was detained last week in an El Paso, Texas courthouse immediately after she was granted a protective order against her abusive partner.

NCAVP’s data shows that transgender women experience high rates of domestic violence and often experience discrimination and violence when attempting to access services. Additionally, transgender women in immigration detention often experience sexual violence, maltreatment, and other forms of violence. Because of these realities, this arrest and detainment is an utterly deplorable and harmful response to her request for help.

This January, Transgender Law Center launched an emergency response project, the Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE), devoted to expanding legal support for transgender immigrants in the face of new attacks.

“Our government’s actions send the message to transgender people that we are disposable and do not deserve dignity or safety,” said Isa Noyola, Director of Programs at Transgender Law Center. “The community already has limited access to resources when we face violent attacks, particularly by intimate partners. At a time when we grieve murder after murder of transgender women of color, it is unconscionable that a transgender woman would be detained and punished for seeking safety for herself. The community, now more than ever, needs to organize to protect our most vulnerable, in particular transgender immigrant women who are surrounded by violence on a daily basis.”

“Arresting survivors when they are accessing domestic violence protections will only continue to discourage survivors from reaching out for support, especially if they are undocumented,” said Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “All survivors, including undocumented transgender survivors, deserve to be able access safe and affirming resources without the additional fear of reprisal by abusive partners and criminalization by state authorities.”

Violation of Protections for Undocumented Survivors

According to the County Attorney, Jo Anne Bernal, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers received a tip that the woman who was detained would be in the courthouse that day. Bernal also stated that she was arrested while still in the courthouse. Bernal suspects that the tip came from Gonzalez’s abusive partner. Both of these actions by ICE violate the confidentiality protections laid out in the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. VAWA provides explicit confidentiality protections for undocumented survivors, including preventing immigration officers from using information provided by abusive partners and preventing officers from making arrests in courthouses if the survivor is there in connection with a protection order case.

“The actions taken by ICE officials to detain a transgender immigrant while she was at the courthouse getting a restraining order against her abuser, based on a “tip” to ICE possibly from her abuser, are not only outrageous, they violate the law,” said Terra Russell Slavin, Esq., Deputy Director of Policy & Community Building at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “The Violence Against Women Act contains specific prohibitions on these type of immigration enforcement actions. The LGBT community, its advocates, and domestic violence activists throughout the country will work tirelessly to ensure that immigrant survivors of domestic violence are able to take legal actions to protect themselves from their abusers. We call on our representatives to immediately investigate the actions of ICE officials in this case and to do everything in their power to ensure this travesty doesn’t happen again.”

VAWA protections are vital for the safety of undocumented survivors of domestic violence. Many undocumented survivors face the threat of deportation when accessing protections that are available to all survivors of domestic violence and this threat is often leveraged by abusive partners.

Domestic Violence and LGBTQ Communities

  • According to the most recently released report by NCAVP, of the 13 documented intimate partner violence related homicides of LGBTQ people in 2015, 46% were transgender women, all of whom were transgender women of color.
  • From 2014 to 2015, there was an increase in the percentage of LGBTQ undocumented survivors reporting to NCAVP from 4% to 9%.
  • Many LGBTQ survivors experience violence and discrimination when accessing intimate partner violence resources. Of those seeking shelter in 2015, 44% were denied with the most common reason being gender identity. Nearly one in three survivors who interacted by police were arrested. Read NCAVP’s toolkit for the LGBTQ and HIV Affected Intimate Partner Violence here.

National Resources immigration and LGBTQ Domestic Violence Services

Local Immigration Resources

  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA) (Los Angeles) -888.6CHIRLA
  • CASA Raid Responses (MD, Northern VA, PA): 301.431.4185
  • Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights (Chicago): 855.435.7693
  • Immigrant Defense Project (New York): 212.725.6422
  • New Jersey Rapid Response Hotline- 1 (800) 308-0878
  • Long Island Dream Act Coalition: 516.387.2043
  • New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia: 267.333.9530 (Spanish), 267.345.5248 (Indonesian)
  • Community Defense Line (Travis County, Texas): 512.270.1515
  • Georgia Latino Alliance For Human Rights (Atlanta): 770.454.5232
  • Asian American Advancing Justice (Atlanta): 404.890.5655
  • Southern Poverty Law Center: 800.591.3656
  • San Juan County Immigrant Protection Group: 360.376.7101, 206.365.2225
  • Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition- 1-888-622-1510
  • Houston hotline to report raids- 713-862-8222

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of 53 local member programs and affiliate organizations in 25 states, Canada, and Washington DC, who create systemic and social change. We strive to increase power, safety, and resources through data analysis, policy advocacy, education, and technical assistance. NCAVP is coordinated by the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Transgender Law Center is the largest national organization dedicated to advancing the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people through litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. TLC changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. www.transgenderlawcenter.org

NCAVP Mourns The Homicide Of Jojo Striker, A Black Transgender Woman Killed in Toledo, OH; the 3rd Reported Killing of a Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming Person NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of JoJo Striker, a Black transgender woman, killed in Toledo, OH on February 8th, 2017; the 3rd reported killing of a transgender/gender nonconforming person NCAVP has responded to in 2017. All three homicide victims have been transgender women of color. Initial reports misgendered JoJo, but recent reports have used her correct pronouns, and though little information is available at the time, JoJo’s mother believes the shooting was a hate crime. Many transgender activists and allies have spoken out in support of JoJo as the news of her death has emerged.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of JoJo Striker, and we send our thoughts and condolences to those impacted by her death,” said Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “We are already seeing signs that the new administration will be stepping back protections for transgender people. In a moment when we are seeing the highest number of reports of homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people, we need policies that protect the rights and safety of transgender people – not roll backs.” NCAVP has reached out to the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), and is offering support.

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:

Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

AVP Action Brief Department of Justice Signals a Step Back on Transgender Rights; #STANDWITHGAVIN; #NOBANNOWALLNORAIDS

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

Department of Justice signals a step back on transgender rights

One day after Senator Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Attorney General, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a brief signaling a step backward in their support of rights and protections for transgender students. At issue is the guidance that the DOJ and Department of Education (DOE) issued under President Obama, which interpreted sex under Title IX to include gender identity. This extended Title IX’s non-discrimination protections to include transgender and gender nonconforming students.

In August 2016, the state of Texas sued the DOJ and DOE challenging this guidance, and a Texas judge filed an injunction saying that the Obama administration’s guidance would be put on hold nationally. In November of 2016, before President Trump took office, the DOJ and DOE requested a stay of the injunction, asking that the injunction only extend to Texas and the 11 other states that joined the lawsuit, rather than to the whole nation. On Friday, the DOJ filed a brief withdrawing the request for the stay and cancelling  the scheduled oral argument in order to plan the DOJ’s next steps in this case. Whatever these next steps are, we have serious concerns that they will not be friendly toward transgender students. AVP will be closely monitoring the DOJ’s actions and we call on all of us to stand in support of our transgender and gender nonconforming community members.

#StandWithGavin

The effort to create safe and supportive education environments for transgender students still advances along a number of other channels. On March 17, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old transgender teen from Virginia who has been locked in a long legal battle with his local school board over his right to use the bathroom that matches his gender. Last night, artist and activist Laverne Cox used the stage of the Grammy awards to draw attention to Gavin’s historic case.

#NoBanNoWallNoRaids

Over the weekend, AVP learned that ICE arrested nearly 40 people in the New York area as part of a targeted enforcement operation. ICE operations have been confirmed in five other states. AVP stands with our immigrant community members. We will not back down and we will resist with you.

In these times, accurate information is crucial to curb fears and rumors. We’re following the work of the New York Immigration Coalition to stay up to date, and we suggest you do too. Learn your rights at ACLU; if you need emergency information or an attorney, call the Legal Aid hotline at 844 955 3425.

  • Support immigrants by showing up to the New York Immigration Coalition rally tomorrow at Foley Square at 6PM.
  • Show your support for Gavin Grimm online using the #IStandWithGavin. Educate your friends and communities about this important case.
  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and voice your support for federal LGBTQ protections and funding for those protections
  • AVP is OPEN on February 17th so that you can join the GENERAL STRIKE! RSVP here and join us 10 am to 2 pm that day for legal intakes, volunteer opportunities, letter writing to elected officials, and more!
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:
BuzzFeed: The Justice Department Is Taking A Step Back From Efforts To Protect Transgender People Under Existing Law

Washington Blade: DOJ nixes request to halt order against trans student protections

NBC OUT: Gavin Grimm: Meet the Boy Laverne Cox Shouted Out at the Grammys

AVP Action Brief: Civil Rights, Not Sessions’ Rights; We Need Police Reform!; #HERETOSTAY

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

Civil rights, not Sessions’ rights

Yesterday, Senator Jeff Sessions was sworn in as Attorney General. Sessions has a disturbing record of opposition to laws protecting the civil rights of LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities and more.  He has voiced his support for the First Amendment Defense Act—a bill that would allow individuals or organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religious freedom. Sessions also voted against the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013, which includes protections for LGBTQ, immigrants, and Tribal communities. These protections, which NCAVP, a program of AVP, fought for in coalition with domestic violence and sexual violence organizations nationally, are vital for survivors of violence, including LGBTQ survivors who still face extreme barriers when accessing services.

As Attorney General, Sessions is responsible for enforcing all federal laws—whether he supports them or not—and for protecting the civil rights of every one of us.  We saw this responsibility in action when Acting Attorney General Sally Yates instructed the Justice Department not to defend President Trump’s Muslim Ban, and as a consequence was fired. In the months ahead, we will continue to work to protect the rights of LGBTQ people and call on Sessions to do the same: to protect our laws and rights as is the responsibility of the Attorney General.

We need police reform!

One day after Sessions’ confirmation, President Trump issued three new executive orders prioritizing federal laws and grant-making that protect and bolster law enforcement.  With people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people being historically and presently criminalized, once again the Trump administration has put the rights and protections of police over the constituents they should be protecting.  LGBTQ communities, especially LGBTQ youth, LGBTQ people of color and transgender and gender non-conforming people, are often profiled by and experience violence at the hands of police. And a new study by the Williams Institute found that lesbian, gay and bisexual people are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates, and more likely to experience mistreatment, harsh punishment, and sexual victimization once incarcerated. Locally, AVP is working in coalition with Communities United for Police Reform on issues of police reform like the Right to Know Act and we will work to hold law enforcement accountable to our communities locally and nationally.

#HereToStay

Yesterday, a federal appeals court unanimously denied the government’s request to allow it to enforce Trump’s travel ban executive order. This means that the temporary restraining order protecting refugees and visa holders from the travel ban is still in place. In the court decision, the three federal judges hearing the case questioned the government’s national security justification for the ban and the constitutionality of the executive order itself, noting that the ban targets 7 Muslim majority countries and therefore a specific religious group. We will not stand for Islamophobia and we will resist alongside our allies in the judicial system: all are welcome here with us.

  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and voice your support for federal LGBTQ protections and funding for those protections
  • Call your local New York City elected officials and encourage them to support the Right to Know Act
  • AVP is OPEN on February 17th so that you can join the GENERAL STRIKE! RSVP here and join us 10 am to 2 pm that day for legal intakes, volunteer opportunities, letter writing to elected officials, and more!
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:
Vox: Sen. Jeff Sessions was just confirmed as the next attorney general
The Guardian: Trump vows law and order crackdown to combat ‘menace’ of crime
Vox: How “Blue Lives Matter” went from a reactive slogan to White House policy

 

AVP Action Brief: We’re Watching You, Devos

Our AVP Action Brief  tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

We’re watching you, DeVos

This afternoon, Betsy DeVos was confirmed for Secretary of Education after a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. DeVos, whose family foundation has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ organizations that support conversion therapy, is dangerously unqualified for the position of Secretary of Education. During her confirmation hearing, she didn’t understand that students with disabilities are protected by federal law; when asked about Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools based on sex and gender identity, she said it would be “premature” to uphold a 2011 rule that requires colleges to take an active role in preventing sexual assault.

In Trump’s cabinet, DeVos is responsible for ensuring that LGBTQ students are safe and free from harassment. She now has the ability to overturn the protections for transgender students enacted during the Obama administration. We must hold DeVos and all who voted for her accountable at every step to protect public schools, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, and student survivors of violence. In the coming months, we will be watching the policy that comes out of the Department of Education, and we will be prepared to take action against any rollbacks of protections for our nation’s LGBTQ and other vulnerable youth.

Here’s what you can do.

  • AVP offers free trainings to schools, educators and community groups around LGBTQ competence and anti-violence issues. Request a training here, and share this information with any educators you know!
  • Engage on a local level with your community’s schools to defend education for all. There are leadership opportunities for parents, including joining the school board, and you can call or write to your local superintendent to show your support—here’s where you can find the contact information for NYC superintendents at elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Sign up for AVP’s Speaker’s Bureau and add your story to the resistance!
  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and continue to tell them not to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Tweet at your senator using the hashtag #StopSessions.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:
Salon: Donald Trump’s Presidency is a Grave Threat to LGBT Students and Betsy DeVos is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Washington Blade: Despite Concern Over Anti-LGBT Donations, DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary
NPR: Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary

AVP Action Brief: We’re Watching You, Devos

Our AVP Action Brief  tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

We’re watching you, DeVos

This afternoon, Betsy DeVos was confirmed for Secretary of Education after a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. DeVos, whose family foundation has donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ organizations that support conversion therapy, is dangerously unqualified for the position of Secretary of Education. During her confirmation hearing, she didn’t understand that students with disabilities are protected by federal law; when asked about Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools based on sex and gender identity, she said it would be “premature” to uphold a 2011 rule that requires colleges to take an active role in preventing sexual assault.

In Trump’s cabinet, DeVos is responsible for ensuring that LGBTQ students are safe and free from harassment. She now has the ability to overturn the protections for transgender students enacted during the Obama administration. We must hold DeVos and all who voted for her accountable at every step to protect public schools, LGBTQ students, students with disabilities, and student survivors of violence. In the coming months, we will be watching the policy that comes out of the Department of Education, and we will be prepared to take action against any rollbacks of protections for our nation’s LGBTQ and other vulnerable youth.

Here’s what you can do.

  • AVP offers free trainings to schools, educators and community groups around LGBTQ competence and anti-violence issues. Request a training here, and share this information with any educators you know!
  • Engage on a local level with your community’s schools to defend education for all. There are leadership opportunities for parents, including joining the school board, and you can call or write to your local superintendent to show your support—here’s where you can find the contact information for NYC superintendents at elementary, middle, and high schools.
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Sign up for AVP’s Speaker’s Bureau and add your story to the resistance!
  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and continue to tell them not to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Tweet at your senator using the hashtag #StopSessions.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:
Salon: Donald Trump’s Presidency is a Grave Threat to LGBT Students and Betsy DeVos is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Washington Blade: Despite Concern Over Anti-LGBT Donations, DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary
NPR: Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary

AVP Learns of an Anti-Gay Incident in Jamaica, Queens

AVP has learned of an anti-gay incident which occurred in Jamaica Queens at the Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer subway station on Saturday, January 14, 2017.  According to media reports, a 27-year-old man was called an anti-gay slur and then assaulted by a stranger while he was exiting the station. The survivor was treated for his injuries at Jamaica hospital and then released.

AVP has reached out to Make the Road New York, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York City Councilmember I. Daneek Miller, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the LGBT Liaison to the Police Commissioner, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP

We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

• Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
• Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
• Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
• Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
• Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
• Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
• Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

AVP will be doing outreach in Jamaica in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. Additionally, to work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

SUPPORT AVP’S WORK TO MAKE THE CITY SAFER FOR LGBTQ AND HIV-AFFECTED NEW YORKERS

AVP Action Brief: We Will Not Be Divided; Stop Religious Exemptions, Stop Sessions

President Trump has begun to carry out many of his troubling campaign promises that threaten the safety, security, and rights of LGBTQ people and many others in this country. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed and take action. Our AVP Action Brief, tracks actions of this administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

We will not be divided

Last week, buried in the language of Trump’s executive order on immigration from Muslim countries, was this line: “he United States should not admit those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.” Using the safety of LGBTQ people as a reason to enforce a Muslim ban is unethical, and we won’t stand for it. Nor will we be divided by this tactic, especially as we support our LGBTQ Muslim community members. This past weekend, AVP joined thousands of New Yorkers at a Rally and March to End Refugee and Muslim Ban. Nothing suggests that the Trump administration will be friendly to LGBTQ people, and we stand with our Muslim, immigrant and refugee friends, family, and community members.

Stop religious exemptions, Stop Sessions

Tomorrow, the senate will vote to confirm or deny Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Not only does Sessions have a decidedly anti-LGBTQ voting history, but he’s also voiced his support for the First Amendment Defense Act—a bill that would allow individuals or organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of religious freedom. FADA would allow employees or agencies to deny even life-saving services to LGBTQ people without any federal action. Despite laws existing in 20+ states protecting LGBTQ residents from discrimination, the administration could use FADA to overturn those protections. FADA is emblematic of legislation that both codifies and sanctions hate against LGBTQ people.  When bills like FADA pass, it sends the message that it’s okay to hate, it’s okay to discriminate, and it leaves our communities vulnerable to violence. We will fight this, along with any other hate-based legislation or executive orders. AVP joined 437 civil rights groups, including immigrant rights and LGBTQ organizations, in speaking out against Sessions’ appointment. It’s crucial that we take action to stop the Sessions confirmation.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and tell them not to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Tweet at your senator using the hashtag #StopSessions.
  • Join the LGBT Solidarity Rally in support of Muslims, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers
  • Attend AVP’s Brooklyn Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Forum on Friday to address the needs of TGNC New Yorkers focused on immigration, employment, policing and more.
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.
  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.

Further reading:
NBC OUT: First Amendment Defense Act Looms Over Sessions’ Confirmation Vote
Washington Post: Trump’s hard-line actions have an intellectual godfather: Jeff Sessions
NBC News: Trump’s Immigration Restrictions Could Be LGBTQ ‘Death Sentence’

AVP Action Brief: No Ban No Wall; Stop Sessions

President Trump has begun to carry out many of his troubling campaign promises that threaten the safety, security, and rights of LGBTQ people and many others in this country. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed and take action. AVP is launching the AVP Action Brief, which will track actions of this administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offer concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice. We are here for you and we are in this together.

No Ban No Wall

Yesterday, President Trump signed two anti-immigrant executive orders. The orders call for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and to cut federal funding to “sanctuary” cities, which are cities, like New York, where police cooperation with federal immigration agents has been intentionally reduced. Today, Trump is expected to sign executive orders to block visas for people entering the U.S. from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. A travel ban like the one suggested by this executive order will only serve to foster Islamophobia and contribute to hate violence. Many LGBTQ refugees seek asylum in the U.S., and Trump’s attack on sanctuary cities directly threatens our immigrant communities, particularly our LGBTQ Latinx and Muslim community members. AVP’s counselors and legal team often work with immigrants, and are here to support those seeking help.

Stop Sessions

Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has a track record of taking actions that would roll back protections for or even endanger LGBTQ people. The Attorney General is responsible for upholding civil rights laws and protecting the most vulnerable in our nation, and we can’t trust Sessions to do this job. AVP joined 437 civil rights groups, including immigrant rights and LGBTQ organizations, have already spoken out against Sessions’ appointment. Earlier this week, the Senate decided to delay the Sessions confirmation vote, postponing it until next Tuesday: Now we have the opportunity to prevent his confirmation.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Report LGBTQ or HIV-related violence that you experience or witness online or to AVP’s 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141.
  • Call your senator at (877) 959-6082 and tell them not to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Tweet at your senator using the hashtag #StopSessions.
  • Attend and share info about our free LGBTQ Legal Clinics focused on immigration, ID and document change and more.
  • Attend AVP’s Brooklyn Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Forum to address the needs of TGNC New Yorkers focused on immigration, employment, policing and more.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:
The Hill: Trump signs orders on border wall, immigration enforcement
Reuters: Trump expected to order temporary ban on refugees
New York Times: Trump to Order Mexican Border Wall and Curtail Immigration
Politico: De Blasio threatens suit over Trump’s sanctuary cities order