April is Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (SVAPM). While our SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program works to raise awareness around the specific needs of LGBTQ+ survivors every month, this April we are amplifying our important work.

This has been an unbelievably difficult year. Our community (staff & interns included) are experiencing all-time highs of anxiety, depression, isolation, fatigue, and burn-out. The LGBTQ+ community is being disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pandemic and our community is having to hold too many financial and health inequities brought on and exacerbated by the pandemic. We are all exhausted, hurting, and just trying to survive. This burden is even more intense for people living with and/or healing from harm; it is difficult to cultivate spaces of hope and healing when we are in survival mode.

LGBTQ+ SURVIVOR SUPPORT-LINE: 802-863-0003

“It’s work to be hopeful. It’s not like a fuzzy feeling. Like, you have to actually put in energy, time, and you have to be clear-eyed, and you have to hold fast to having a vision. It’s a hard thing to maintain. But it matters to have it, to believe that it’s possible, to change the world.”

Mariame Kaba

organizer, educator, curator, and author of We Do This 'Til We Free Us

And while hope is a discipline (nod to Mariame Kaba), we imagine queer communities that are free to hope, free to manifest pleasure, safety, joy, celebration, freedom of movement, and just live our regular, boring everyday lives. 

Specifically because it has been so challenging to cultivate hope and healing this past year, SafeSpace wants to honor Queer SVAPM by celebrating visions of liberation from violence and harm. We have done this by curating the resources below which focus specifically on cultivating collective liberation. These resources represent a range of queer SVAPM-related materials and we hope that you find something for yourself here. And please, if you are a queer survivor of violence and have something that has helped your healing, share it with our team

We hope you find this blog post to be a soft place to land after a difficult pandemic year. Here’s to safety, support, connection, and a life free of violence and fear.

…Know that queer sexual violence happens in youth lockup, immigration detention hold, our bedrooms and families, that the vision of the white, cis, straight, middle class non-sex working able-bodied ‘perfect victim’ is killing us… [Give us] space for our queer and trans brilliance and freedom dreams to breathe a future of true safety and justice into being.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

poet, writer, educator and disability justice activist

Would it be a queer thing to live in a world free from sexual violence? I think so. And by queer I mean transformative. I am ready for that queer feeling of embodied freedom. Are you? The queer thing would be a future where we don’t reproduce the systems of oppressions we are surviving right now. And I mean queer like the authors of this collection mean it, as a command. We must queer our days and queer our nights and queer our questions and queer our responses and most importantly queer our actions, QUEER!!! until the world we are experiencing is a world we recognize only from our wildest most luscious dreams.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs

co-founder of UBUNTU (a women of color/survivor led coalition to end gendered violence), co-editor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines

As a systemic issue, sexual violence is a barrier to equality and autonomy. As a personal issue, sexual violence stays with survivors all life long. When we spend any time caring/advocating for, listening to and being in solidarity with survivors, we fundamentally improve the human race. It’s as simple and as complex as that.
Cameron Esposito

on why she’s passionate on ending sexual violence

AVP Staff's Top Pick for Queer Sexual Violence Awareness Month

This year we’ve asked our staff to share their favorite books on trauma and recovery. Here are some of our top picks!

How to Support Someone who has Experienced Violence

Violence is a community issue and one that can have community solutions. The majority of people who experience violence turn to their friends, family, and community when first seeking help. It’s therefore important that every one of us know how to support someone who is disclosing their experiences of violence….

Pods & Pod Mapping Worksheets

Worksheets to help you identify the people in your circle whom you can call on for support

Creative Interventions Toolkit

A practical guide to stop interpersonal violence

It Takes a Village, People!

Advocacy, friends and family, and LGBT survivors of abuse

This Queer Author Probes How the Justice System Fails Sexual Assault Survivors

Édouard Louis talks living a politicized existence, and how the police use sexual assault survivors to perpetuate violence.

a queer survivor's guide to intimacy after sexual violence

Amidst the public recognition of the #MeToo Movement, support for survivors and their allies has blossomed nationally. I have seen amazing resources aiming to improving allyship, and I am so glad to see this literature on the rise.

Did #MeToo Forget About Me?

I’m sure the #MeToo movement made many survivors of sexual violence feel less alone, but what about people like me?

Building Accountable Communities

A video series that focuses on questions like: What do we mean when we talk about transformative justice and accountability? What does a survivor-centered response look like in practice? …

Laverne Cox Shares Her #MeToo Story

“The idea of consent is something that men aren’t really clear about.”

LGBTQ+ Survivor Drop-In Space

Are you an LGBTQ+ survivor of violence who is looking for community & connection? If so, grab your tea and/or crafting supplies and join us for a survivor drop-in space, hosted by SafeSpace advocates.

Trans & GNC Support Group

As trans and GNC people in the world, we experience many things that are unique to our identities. For that reason, the Transgender Program hosts a support group for our community on the first and third Wednesday of every month from 6:30-8:00 pm. 

Around and around they went, circling essential truths that no one wanted to look at directly, like the sun: Women could abuse other women. Women have abused other women. And queers needed to take this issue seriously because no one else would
Carmen Maria Machado

author of "In the Dream House"