Full and Equal Access for the Transgender Community

April 21, 2016

National Consensus Statement of Anti-Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Organizations in Support of Full and Equal Access for the Transgender Community

We, the undersigned sexual assault and domestic violence organizations, oppose anti-transgender initiatives.  These initiatives utilize and perpetuate the myth that protecting transgender people’s access to restrooms and locker rooms endangers the safety or privacy of others. As organizations that care about reducing assault and violence, we favor laws and policies that protect transgender people from discrimination, including in accessing facilities that match the gender they live every day.

States across the country have introduced harmful legislation or initiatives that seek to repeal non-discrimination protections or restrict transgender people’s access to gender-specific facilities like restrooms. Those who are pushing these proposals have claimed that these proposals are necessary for public safety and to prevent sexual violence against women and children. As rape crisis centers, shelters, and other service providers who work each and every day to meet the needs of all survivors and reduce sexual assault and domestic violence throughout society, we speak from experience and expertise when we state that these claims are false.

Nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people have existed for a long time. Over 200 municipalities and 18 states have nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people’s access to facilities consistent with the gender they live every day. In some cases, these protections have been in place for decades. These laws have protected people from discrimination without creating harm. None of those jurisdictions have seen a rise in sexual violence or other public safety issues due to nondiscrimination laws. Assaulting another person in a restroom or changing room remains against the law in every single state. We operate and advocate for rape crisis centers and shelters all over the country, including in cities and states with non-discrimination protections for transgender people. Those protections have not weakened public safety or criminal laws, nor have they compromised their enforcement.

Nondiscrimination laws do not allow men to go into women’s restrooms—period. The claim that allowing transgender people to use the facilities that match the gender they live every day allows men into women’s bathrooms or women into men’s is based either on a flawed understanding of what it means to be transgender or a misrepresentation of the law.

It may be hard to understand the experiences of transgender people, especially if you have never met a transgender person. We believe in respecting the identities of transgender people. Transgender people live in a society that often discriminates against them and makes it much harder for them to participate in the routines of daily life.

The efforts to ban transgender people from using public restrooms obscures the fact that all of us, including transgender people, are deeply concerned about safety and privacy in restrooms. Transgender people already experience unconscionably high rates of sexual assault—and forcing them out of facilities consistent with the gender they live every day makes them vulnerable to assault. As advocates committed to ending sexual assault and domestic violence of every kind, we will never support any law or policy that could put anyone at greater risk for assault or harassment.  That is why we are able to strongly support transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination protections—and why we oppose any law that would jeopardize the safety of transgender people by forcing them into restrooms that do not align with the gender they live every day.

It is natural to be concerned about safety and privacy. As advocates and survivors, we know the threat of sexual assault is real and pervasive. Every time we hear of someone who speaks of their assault or abuse, we feel their pain. The safety fears that many have, especially those who are survivors, are not baseless or irrational, nor should they be dismissed. However, discriminating against transgender people does nothing to decrease the risk of sexual assault.

Discriminating against transgender people does not give anyone more control over their body or security. Those who perpetuate falsehoods about transgender people and nondiscrimination laws are putting transgender people in harm’s way and making no one safer. We cannot stand by while the needs of survivors, both those who are transgender and those who are not, are obscured in order to push a political agenda that does nothing to serve and protect victims and potential victims.  We will only accomplish our goal of ending sexual violence by treating all people, including those who are transgender, with fairness and respect.

National Organizations:

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

American Association of University Women

American Dance Therapy Association

Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence

Battered Women's Justice Project

Break the Cycle

Center for Women Policy Studies

FaithTrust Institute

Futures Without Violence

Hollaback!

Just Detention International

Know Your IX

Legal Momentum

Men As Peacemakers

Men's Story Project

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE)

National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Council of Jewish Women

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Housing Law Project

National Indigenous Women's Resource Center

National Latina@ Network: Casa de Esperanza

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Organization for Men Against Sexism

National Organization for Women

National Organization of Asian Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence

National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault

National Organization for Victim Assistance

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Women’s Law Center

Praxis International

Resource Sharing Project

Stop It Now!

Support Network of Advocates for Protective Parents

YWCA

State/Territorial and Local Organizations

Alabama

State

Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Montgomery

AshaKiran, Inc., Huntsville

Alaska

State

YWCA Alaska, Anchorage

Local

Sitkans Against Family Violence, Sitka

Arizona

State

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, Phoenix

Chrysalis, Phoenix

Local

Apache Behavioral Health Services, Inc., Whiteriver

California

State

California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Sacramento

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Sacramento

Coalition for Family Harmony, Oxnard

Local

A.M.E. Counseling Services, Los Angeles

Alliance for Community Transformations, Mariposa

Asian Women's Shelter, San Francisco

Building Futures with Women and Children, San Leandro

Center for Community Solutions, San Diego

Family Service Agency of Burbank, Burbank

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles, Los Angeles

Lassen Family Services, Inc., Susanville

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice, Los Angeles

Rural Human Services: Harrington House, Crescent City

San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium, San Francisco

Shepherd's Door Domestic Violence Resource Center, Pasadena

STAND! For Families Free of Violence, Concord

Strength United, Van Nuys

Strong Hearted Native Women's Coalition, Inc., Valley Center

Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center, Santa Cruz 

Colorado

State

Alliance Against Domestic Abuse, Salida

Alternatives to Violence, Loveland

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Denver

Deaf Overcoming Violence through Empowerment, Denver

Domestic Violence Initiative, Denver

Local

Advocate Safehouse Project, Glenwood Springs

Advocates for Victims of Assault, Dillon

Estes Valley Crisis Advocates, Estes Park

Project Safeguard, Denver

RESPONSE, Aspen

SafeHouse Denver, Denver

Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, Boulder

Connecticut

State

Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence, East Hartford

Local

Chrysalis, Meriden

Delaware

State

Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Wilmington

District of Columbia

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Washington, DC

DC Rape Crisis Center, Washington, DC

Florida

State

Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, Tallahassee

Florida NOW, Indialantic

Local

Brevard NOW, Satellite Beach

Greater Orlando NOW, Orlando

Women's Center of Jacksonville, Jacksonville

Georgia

State

Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Decatur

Local

Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, Dalton

Columbus Alliance for Battered Women, Inc. d/b/a Hope Harbour, Columbus

Guam

Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence, Hagatna

 Hawaii

State

The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Honolulu

Idaho

State

Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, Boise

Illinois

State

Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Springfield

Illinois National Organization for Women, Springfield

Local

Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, Chicago

Connections for Abused Women and their Childrem, Chicago

HOPE of Ogle County, Rochelle

Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, Round Lake Park

Mujeres Latinas en Accion, Chicago

Rape Advocacy Counseling and Education Services, Urbana

Rape Victim Advocates, Chicago

Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling Inc., Rockfor

Indiana

State

Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc., Indianapolis

Local

Alternatives Incorporated, Anderson

Coburn Place Safe Haven, Indianapolis

Council on Domestic Abuse, Inc., Terre Haute

Crisis Connection, Inc., Jasper

Domestic Violence Network, Indianapolis

Middle Way House, Bloomington

Rush County Victims Assistance, Inc., Rushville

Turning Point Domestic Violence Services, Columbus

Iowa

State

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Des Moines

Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Des Moines

Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa, Des Moines

Local

Crisis Intervention Services, Oskaloosa

Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Iowa City

Kansas

State

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Topeka 

Louisiana

State

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Baton Rouge

Local

Faith House, Lafayette

Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, Jefferson

SAFE (Southeast Advocates for Family Empowerment), Hammond 

Maine

State

Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Augusta

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Augusta

Wabanaki Women's Coalition, Lincolnville

Local

New Hope for Women, Rockland, ME

Safe Voices, Lewiston

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, Lewiston

Sexual Assault Services of Midcoast Maine, Brunswick

Maryland

State

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA), Silver Spring

Maryland NOW, Silver Spring

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, Lanham

Local

HopeWorks of Howard County, Columbia

Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, Rockville

Massachusetts

State

Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Boston

Jane Doe Inc., the MA Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Boston

Local

A Safe Place, Inc., Nantucket

Alternative House, Lowell

Casa Myrna Vazquez, Boston

DOVE, Inc., Quincy

Jewish Family & Children's Service, Waltham

New Hope, Inc., Attleboro

REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, Waltham

Transition House, Cambridge

Minnesota

State

Sacred Hoop Coalition, Duluth

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, St. Paul

Local

Bluff Country Family Resources, Hokah

Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, Minneapolis

Tubman, Twin Cities

Missouri

State

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Jefferson City

Missouri NOW, Columbia

Montana

State

Adapt Montana, Missoula

Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Helena

Nebraska

State

Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, Lincoln

Local

Crisis Center, Grand Island

Project Response, INC, Auburn

 Nevada

State

Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, Reno

Local

S.A.F.E. House, Henderson

Safe Nest, Las Vegas

Tahoe SAFE Alliance, Incline Village

New Hampshire

State

NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Concord

Turning Points Network, Claremont

YWCA NH, Manchester

Local

New Beginnings - Without Violence & Abuse, Laconia

New Jersey

State

New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Lawrenceville

Local

YWCA Union County, Elizabeth

 New Mexico

State

New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NMCADV), Santa Fe

Local

Community Against Violence, Inc. (CAV), Taos

New York

State

Day ONE, New York City

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Albany

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Albany

Local

Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, Ithaca

CONNECT, New York City

Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, Albany

Delaware Opportunities Safe Against Violence, Hamden

Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence, Buffalo

First Step Victim Services at Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler Counties, Watkins Glen

Hope’s Door, Pleasantville

My Sisters' Place, White Plains

Safe Homes of Orange County, Newburgh

Safe Horizon, New York City

Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Inc. (Crisis Services), Buffalo

The Family Counseling Center, Gloversville

The Safe Center LI, Inc., Bethpage

Vera House, Inc., Syracuse

VIBS, Islandia

Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, Watertown

Violence Intervention Program, Inc., New York

Willow Domestic Violence Center, Rochester

YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda

 North Carolina

State

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Durham

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Raleigh

North Carolina Women United, Raleigh

Local

Families First Inc., Whiteville

Family Services of Davidson County, Lexington

Help, Incorporated: Center Against Violence, Reidsville

Ohio

State

ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women, Columbus

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Cleveland

Local

Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, Cleveland

Oklahoma

State

Native Alliance Against Violence, Norman

Local

Ponca Tribe Domestic Violence Program, Ponca City

 Oregon

State

Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Portland

Local

Bradley Angle, Portland

Lake County Crisis Center, Lakeview

Safe Harbors, Enterprise

Sexual Assault Resource Center, Beaverton

Southern Oregon University Women's Resource Center, Ashland

Pennsylvania

State

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Enola

Local

Abuse & Rape Crisis Center, Towanda

Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center, Inc., Tarentum

Berks Women in Crisis, Reading

Blackburn Center Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, Greensburg

Clinton County Women's Center, Lock Haven

Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc., Philadelphia

Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, Inc., Allentown

Crisis Center North, Pittsburgh

HAVIN (Helping All Victims in Need), Kittanning

SafeNet, Erie

Schuylkill Women in Crisis, Pottsville

SWPA National Organization For Women (NOW), Beaver

The Abuse Network, Inc., Lewistown

The Women's Center, Inc. of Columbia/Montour Counties, Bloomsburg

Transitions of PA, Lewisburg

Turning Point of Lehigh Valley, Inc., Allentown

Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe), Butler

Victims' Intervention Program, Honesdale

Women In Transition, Philadelphia

Women's Resource Center, Scranton

Women's Resources of Monroe County, Inc., Delaware Water Gap

Women's Services, Inc., Meadville

YWCA Lancaster, Lancaster

YWCA Northcentral PA, Williamsport

Rhode Island

State

Day One, Providence

South Carolina

State

National Assn. of Social Workers, SC Chapter, Columbia

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Columbia

Local

Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, Georgetown

People Against Rape, Charleston

Pickens County Advocacy Center, Easley

SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, Spartanburg

Texas

State

The Texas Council on Family Violence, Austin

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, Austin

Local

Cross Timbers Family Services, Stephenville

Freedom House, Weatherford

Houston Area Women's Center, Houston

The Crisis Center, Odessa

The Family Place, Dallas

U.S. Virgin Islands

Women's Coalition of St. Croix, St. Croix

Vermont

State

Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Montpelier

Local

AWARE, Inc., Hardwick

CVOEO/Voices Against Violence, St. Albans

Project Against Violent Encounters, Bennington

Sexual Assault Crisis Team, Barre

Women Helping Battered Women, Burlington

WomenSafe, Middlebury, VT

Virginia

State

True Help Organization, Reston

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Richmond

Local

Empowerhouse, Fredericksburg

Washington

State

API Chaya, Seattle

Crisis Support Network, Raymond

Legal Voice, Seattle

Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Olympia

Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), Seattle

Washington State NOW, Olympia

Local

Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, Inc., Pullman

Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Seattle

Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence, Seattle

DAWN, Kent

Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County, Everett

Emergency Support Shelter, Longview

Forks Abuse Program, Forks

Jewish Family Service, Seattle

Seattle NOW, Brier

New Beginnings, Seattle

Programs for Peaceful Living, Bingen

SafePlace, Olympia

The DoVE Project, Vashon

YWCA Clark County, Vancouver

YWCA Olympia, Olympia

YWCA Pierce County, Tacoma

YWCA Seattle|King|Snohomish, Seattle

YWCA Yakima, Yakima

West Virginia

State

West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Elkview

Wisconsin

State

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Madison

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA), Madison

Local

People Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse, Jefferson

Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services, Inc., Marinette

The Bridge to Hope, Menomonie

Wyoming

State

Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Laramie

 

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