Transgender Safety Project

“Engaging Faith and Community-based Organizations to Prevent
and Respond to Hate Crimes, Violence and Discrimination Against Transgender Persons” 

To inquire about participating in this project, please contact Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen.

Summary:

A program to reduce transgender hate violence in high risk communities.  Congregation members work with community members to advocate for safe schools, workplaces, community services and businesses and to influence local and regional legislation and policies.

Background:

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, transgender persons are among the most severely impacted by hate violence. In 2013, the majority of victims of hate violence homicides were transgender women. Transgender women are also about twice as likely to experience sexual violence as cisgender women. For transgender women of color, these rates are even higher. While some categories of hate crimes are declining, more transgender people were killed in 2015 than any other year on record (Human Rights Campaign, 2016). Though the high rates of hate violence against members of the transgender community are well documented, efforts to protect transgender persons and prevent violence against the transgender community are limited. 

Because churches, faith communities and organizations are located in every neighborhood and create community for congregants and nearby residents, they are a natural partner in keeping transgender per-sons safe in their neighborhoods, both through prevention and active response when violence does occur. This project encompasses three overarching goals in a grassroots effort to train, empower, and support faith communities in protecting transgender persons.

 

Goals:

1. Mobilize faith organizations and community members to prevent/reduce hate violence and discrimination against transgender persons within communities that are disproportionally affected by violence or underreporting of violence

2. Equip faith communities to respond effectively after a hate crime or act of violence against a transgender person through individual and community support mechanisms and with accountability measures

3. Empower faith organizations and communities members to advocate for affirming and protective school policies and local legislation for transgender students and transgender adults.

 

This  pilot project will engage 5 faith communities/churches/organizations over the course of the project, using multiple empirically proven strategies to accomplish the two broad goals. These strategies include: 

 

Goal 1 (Prevention) Strategies:

1. Provide training and technical assistance to faith community members including: 

Cultural competency training, including facts and statistics on disparities and higher risk for transgender persons, how to create welcoming and affirming faith spaces for transgender persons, community outreach; creating a culture of safety and respect by facilitating the strengthening of local community ties with businesses, local organizations, and neighbors, sharing information and advocating in local schools and community organizations including tenant and landlord associations; violence prevention training for young men in the community to reduce transphobia; and creation of an online archive of training videos, materials and resources

2. Facilitate Safety Awareness Clinics at faith communities, where faith leaders and congregants increase their awareness of intimate partner violence and receive training from anti-violence organizations on how to prevent, identify, and deescalate violence and support survivors

3. Equip and empower faith communities to create community events for the broader public to increase understanding and respect, reduce transphobia, decrease discrimination, and in-crease reporting of hate violence by providing them with community event topics, connections to speakers, films, and other means of community engagement and encouraging leadership of survivors and persons at risk

4. Equip and empower faith communities to create public education campaigns to denounce transphobic rhetoric and promote the safety of transgender persons

 

Goal 2 (Response) Strategies: 

2.1. Train faith leaders and faith community members in emergency response, including creation of a Triage Team, protocol for addressing various levels of emergencies (such as escalating aggression/violence) and making effective referrals to resources and supports for survivors, including law enforcement, medical, advocacy, legal services, peer supports, and counseling or support groups

2.2. Train faith leaders and faith community members in appropriate options for 

community response, including rallies, town halls, community forums, and vigils or religious remembrance events. 

2.3. Provide connections to counseling services, including both individual therapy and support groups for transgender people to help process experiences of violence, trauma and vicarious trauma.

 

Goal 3 (Empowerment) Strategies: 

3.1. Train faith leaders and faith community members in techniques of advocacy and education for school boards, parent teacher organizations, administrative and educational staff, and students.  Equip faith leaders and community members to advocate effectively with elected officials and the media.  Empower and equip transgender community members to tell their stories, testify and educate elected officials and community leaders.

 

Evaluation:

This project will be evaluated through a combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection. Descriptive statistics appropriate to the nature of the data will be computed and organized in a summary report including tables. Since pre- and post-intervention data will be collected on several measures, paired-sample t-tests for continuous and z-tests for two dependent proportions for categorical data will be computed to determine if significant change has been observed over time. The Cohen’s d effect size estimates for continuous and percent change effect size metrics for categorical data will also be computed. Separate analysis will be conducted for each target outcome.