October 1, 2013 is the start date for a ground-breaking new federal law protecting transgender and gender non-conforming people, and FORGE is delighted to announce that it has received funding to help with the implementation process.
Earlier this year Congress passed a non-discrimination addition to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) when it reauthorized it, explicitly prohibiting VAWA-funded agencies from discriminating against survivors based on gender identity and sexual orientation. This week the Office on Violence Against Women announced a $350,000, 3-year continuation award to one of FORGE’s existing Training and Technical Assistance grants to directly address the implications and implementation of the new legal requirements.
Specifically, FORGE will be conducting a nationwide, baseline assessment of the primary attitudes, values and beliefs held by those working in VAWA-funded agencies. Based on the study findings, FORGE will then develop additional training and advocacy tools specifically aimed at shifting attitudes and beliefs so that they better align with the new legal mandate for all VAWA-funded agencies to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) survivors equally. FORGE will also work intensively with two or three pilot sites to implement comprehensive changes in their systems to better serve transgender, gender non-conforming and LGB survivors and pilot-test the newly developed tools. In year three, FORGE will create and disseminate a toolkit to assist all victim service providers in reducing attitudinal barriers to serving trans and LGB survivors.