You have a right to VAWA-funded services
The 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) now explicitly includes LGBTQ survivors of violence as people who are entitled to support if they experience violence. All service providers (including domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, courts, police and legal services) that accept VAWA funding must serve LGBTQ people. VAWA prohibits service providers from discriminating against survivors of violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. You may have been discriminated against if:
• You were denied shelter and not offered another option for safe housing
• You were told you could not be in a support group because of your gender identity
• You were told “we don’t serve LGBTQ” people
We can help.
If you believe that you have not received the services that you need simply because of your sexual orientation or gender identity, you have the right to file a complaint to the Department of Justice. You can report anonymously and you can file a report on someone else’s behalf. You can file a complaint online or you can call NCAVP at 212-714-1184.
We can help you file your complaint or a complaint for someone else.* You have one year to file a complaint of discrimination after the discrimination has occurred. If you’re not sure whether you have a reason to file a complaint, call us and we can help you.
*Filing a complaint will give the Department of Justice information about the discrimination, but may not result in a specific remedy for you. We can talk with you more about what your options are when you call.