The LGBTQ Center of Durham announced the launch of its newest project, the Southern Queer Survivor Network (SQSN), in honor of the end of domestic violence awareness month in October. 

“Over time, the Center realized that nearly every person who was coming through the doors – whether they were looking for gender affirming care, a local resource or community event information also identified as a survivor of abuse,” a spokesperson for the center stated in a press release. “We started to see more and more cases of abusive relationships, families, and workplaces.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 44 percent of lesbians and 61 percent of bisexual women experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35 percent of straight women. In addition, 26 percent of gay men stated they had been victims of domestic violence. More than half (54 percent) of transgender and non-binary respondents experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes, and data shows that 19 percent of Black respondents, 20 percent of Native American respondents, 13 percent of Asian respondents and 16 percent of Latinx respondents have experienced physical dating violence compared to six percent of non-LGBTQ white youth.

The team working with the SQSN will offer one-on-one peer support counseling and support groups, assistance with safety planning, therapy and legal referrals, resource pairing, material assistance, housing support and more. There will also be education & information about domestic violence within LGBTQ communities for service providers seeking to expand their capacity. 

“LGBTQ survivors often report having a more difficult time finding adequate resources to support them in escaping and healing from abuse,” a spokesperson for the organization stated. “Southern Queer Survivor Network is responding to a gap in community services by providing services that center LGBTQ+ survivors of abuse. 

“It is deeply important that queer survivors know that they are not alone. Those who reach out for support can expect confidential, affirming services anywhere in North Carolina.”

You can contact the Southern Queer Survivor Network by clicking here

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