(Indianapolis) — The Domestic Violence Network has presented its new Community Wide Plan with Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. The 2020 plan, Equity: Listening to the Truth, Amplifying Voices, Changing Systems, focuses on two populations that have in the past been left out of the conversation about domestic violence prevention and intervention: Black and African American women and the LGBTQ+ community.
In an effort to address all forms of violence and oppression, Domestic Violence Network spearheads a Community Wide Plan every three years to assess progress and address challenges to achieving violence-free homes.
Through research and community conversations, Domestic Violence Network decided two long-neglected and vulnerable populations, Black and African American women and the LGBTQ+ community, should be the focus of this year’s Community Wide Plan.
“We learned through our previous Community Wide Plan that domestic violence is an intersectional issue, and with our current plan we hope to shed light on how race, sexual orientation, and cisgender/transgender status are incredibly important when discussing domestic violence,” explained Kelly McBride, Domestic Violence Network’s executive director. “Over the next three years and beyond, we hope to advance the dialogue about systems that continue to hold these populations in oppression and address how to dismantle these systems with the goal of creating a more equitable Indianapolis.”
Statistics show that members of the Black and African American women and LGBTQ+ communities experience violence at higher rates than any other group in this country:
- Black and African American women are 2.5 times more likely to experience domestic violence than white females, yet less likely to utilize services.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 29.1% of Black and African American women are victimized by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
- 2 in 5 men identifying as gay or bisexual and half of lesbian women will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.
- 70% of LGBTQ+ youth have been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation.
Through its latest plan, the Domestic Violence Network seeks to get to the root cause of this inequity and facilitate collaboration among social services providers in Indianapolis to establish best practices in serving these populations.
Leading up to the formation of Equity, Domestic Violence Network gathered input through community conversations with members of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as with Black and African American women. It also conducted a series of focus groups with community partners, law enforcement, the City of Indianapolis, and grassroots organizations – all of whom work both directly and indirectly to fight domestic violence.
“As mayor of a city that strives for equity for all of our neighbors, I applaud the Domestic Violence Network, their partners, and the courageous men and women who have come forward to help shape and guide the 2020 Community Wide Plan,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett during the CWP unveiling. “The 2020 Plan is a tremendous step forward, and with a focus on Black and African American women and the LGBTQ+ community, we finally move closer to ending domestic violence in every home in Indianapolis.”