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


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


State/Territorial and Local Organizations



Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Montgomery

AshaKiran, Inc., Huntsville



YWCA Alaska, Anchorage


Sitkans Against Family Violence, Sitka



Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, Phoenix

Chrysalis, Phoenix


Apache Behavioral Health Services, Inc., Whiteriver



California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Sacramento

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Sacramento

Coalition for Family Harmony, Oxnard


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 



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


Advocate Safehouse Project, Glenwood Springs

Advocates for Victims of Assault, Dillon

Estes Valley Crisis Advocates, Estes Park

Project Safeguard, Denver


SafeHouse Denver, Denver

Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, Boulder



Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence, East Hartford


Chrysalis, Meriden



Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Wilmington

District of Columbia

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Washington, DC

DC Rape Crisis Center, Washington, DC



Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, Tallahassee

Florida NOW, Indialantic


Brevard NOW, Satellite Beach

Greater Orlando NOW, Orlando

Women's Center of Jacksonville, Jacksonville



Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Decatur


Northwest Georgia Family Crisis Center, Dalton

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


Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence, Hagatna



The Sex Abuse Treatment Center, Honolulu



Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, Boise



Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Springfield

Illinois National Organization for Women, Springfield


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 Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc., Indianapolis


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 Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Des Moines

Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Des Moines

Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa, Des Moines


Crisis Intervention Services, Oskaloosa

Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Iowa City



Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Topeka 



Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Baton Rouge


Faith House, Lafayette

Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, Jefferson

SAFE (Southeast Advocates for Family Empowerment), Hammond 



Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Augusta

Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Augusta

Wabanaki Women's Coalition, Lincolnville


New Hope for Women, Rockland, ME

Safe Voices, Lewiston

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services, Lewiston

Sexual Assault Services of Midcoast Maine, Brunswick



Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA), Silver Spring

Maryland NOW, Silver Spring

Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, Lanham


HopeWorks of Howard County, Columbia

Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, Rockville



Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence, Boston

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


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



Sacred Hoop Coalition, Duluth

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, St. Paul


Bluff Country Family Resources, Hokah

Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, Minneapolis

Tubman, Twin Cities



Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Jefferson City

Missouri NOW, Columbia



Adapt Montana, Missoula

Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Helena



Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, Lincoln


Crisis Center, Grand Island

Project Response, INC, Auburn



Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, Reno


S.A.F.E. House, Henderson

Safe Nest, Las Vegas

Tahoe SAFE Alliance, Incline Village

New Hampshire


NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Concord

Turning Points Network, Claremont

YWCA NH, Manchester


New Beginnings - Without Violence & Abuse, Laconia

New Jersey


New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Lawrenceville


YWCA Union County, Elizabeth

 New Mexico


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


Community Against Violence, Inc. (CAV), Taos

New York


Day ONE, New York City

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Albany

New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Albany


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


North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Durham

North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Raleigh

North Carolina Women United, Raleigh


Families First Inc., Whiteville

Family Services of Davidson County, Lexington

Help, Incorporated: Center Against Violence, Reidsville



ACTION OHIO Coalition For Battered Women, Columbus

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Cleveland


Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, Cleveland



Native Alliance Against Violence, Norman


Ponca Tribe Domestic Violence Program, Ponca City



Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Portland


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 Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, Enola


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


Day One, Providence

South Carolina


National Assn. of Social Workers, SC Chapter, Columbia

South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Columbia


Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry Counties, Georgetown

People Against Rape, Charleston

Pickens County Advocacy Center, Easley

SAFE Homes-Rape Crisis Coalition, Spartanburg



The Texas Council on Family Violence, Austin

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, Austin


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 Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Montpelier


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



True Help Organization, Reston

Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Richmond


Empowerhouse, Fredericksburg



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


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


West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Elkview



End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin, Madison

Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA), Madison


People Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse, Jefferson

Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services, Inc., Marinette

The Bridge to Hope, Menomonie



Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Laramie


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