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Contact: David Phillips, 202-374-7653(m) david@rainbowresponse.org

Event Date: Tuesday. 8 April 2008, 7-8:30pm Location: 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington. DC 20036

Rainbow Response Casts Light on Abusive LGBTQ Relationships

April 2, 2008 (Washington, DC) ~ "Virtually every one of us will be touched by intimate partner violence, in our own relationships or those of our friends," one email message declared, announcing tonight's community forum on Intimate Partner Violence among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. A new community coalition, Rainbow Response, produced the event held at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Forum.

A series of speakers from government agencies, domestic-violence groups, and private mental health practitioners addressed the characteristics of Intimate Partner Violence and the counseling, housing, and legal resources available to batterers and survivors. Observations from front-line law enforcement were provided by the Metropolitan Police Department's Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, including statistics from the Unit's incident tracking system. Legal advocate Morgan Lynn of Women Empowered Against Violence Everywhere (WEAVE) outlined legal tools available to survivors, noting that protection orders can be granted to LGBT survivors in all local courts.

Recurring messages appeared in printed information available to attendees of the event. Intimate Partner Violence is endemic in all demographic groups, and heterosexuals may be no more or less affected by it than LGBTQ persons. Numerous studies indicate that 25% to one-third of all relationships exhibit Intimate Partner Violence, regardless of race, income, or sexual orientation.

More information about the coalition and the LGBTQ Intimate Partner Violence may be found on the coalition's website www.RainbowResponse.org

Rainbow Response is a coalition of organizations and concerned individuals spanning the LGBTQ communities and the traditional domestic-violence community. Organizations participating in Rainbow Response include: Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters, Break the Cycle, Brother Help Thyself, Community Crisis Services, Inc, DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, DC Mayor's Office on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Affairs, DC Rape Crisis Center, District Alliance for Safe Housing, Inc.

Domestic Resource Violence Project, INCITE!-DC, Metropolitan Police Department Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, Survivors & Advocates for Empowerment, The Whitman-Walker Clinic, Women in the Life Association, Women Empowered Against Violence.


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