Time for a Global Effort on Gender-Responsive Policing to Help Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls

Today, I had the tremendous honor of speaking at the Generation Equality Forum on the invitation of the Government of France and UN Women. I appreciated the opportunity to share NO MORE’s perspective on the prevention of gender-based violence and the urgent need to find solutions using a global lens. 

NO MORE recently launched an online Global Directory of support services in more than 205 countries and territories with the aim to give victims the information they need to leave behind an abusive relationship or report sexual assault if they desire.

A gender-responsive police force in every interaction demonstrates that domestic violence and sexual assault are crimes. They demonstrate that these crimes are taken seriously, that they are not caused by the victims but by perpetrators.

The issue is what happens when women do come forward. Many of them do not get a good response from their local police force. They lack faith that they will have the moral and physical support of an agency that should be protecting their basic rights.

And who can blame them? Even countries with large, credible police forces and justice systems have appallingly low rates of convictions. So as we hear constantly from our large network—what is the point of reporting? 

We need to change this.

The key to ending gender-based violence is prevention. And prevention starts with the ability to identify and analyze the root causes of violence against women and girls in order to find solutions that create the impact that we desire. Lack of accountability and protection allows this form of violence to continue. 

There are many ways to execute primary forms of prevention, such as campaigns and education, but there is one crucial area that we speak less of and that UN Women’s gender-responsive policing handbook has addressed brilliantly—this is prevention by example. 

A gender-responsive police force in every interaction demonstrates that domestic violence and sexual assault are crimes. They demonstrate that these crimes are taken seriously, that they are not caused by the victims but by perpetrators. Police forces that can sustain that level of commitment will show the generations to come that violence against women and girls is not acceptable, is not permitted, and is not the norm.

This is not our current reality. In many countries, even where much investment has happened, we see a minimal quantity of cases charged and even less prosecuted. Governments and police forces that now come out to apologize for their failures have also apologized for the same issues a decade ago. That is not good enough! 

Therefore, leadership is the bedrock for progress on the gender police responsive agenda. Leadership that is prepared to take the fundamental steps to fuel culture change in policing where it is needed. Leadership that insists that policing focuses on the actions of the perpetrator and not solely on the credibility of the victim. And leadership that updates or institutes laws that will enable charges to be filed and, more importantly, to stick. 

Despite the enormous efforts of many police forces globally, there is still a long road ahead to walk. 

Local efforts are the primary steps, but in an interconnected world, another way to set an example is to know what other countries are doing and to share lessons learned within our networks. Part of our strategy has to be to grow together globally. 

Networks that focus on the exchange of ideas and experiences from gender-responsive policing are needed. Such networks need to be diverse and break the north-south divide to understand that innovation and good practice are happening in many places and not only in the better-resourced ones. 

Today, we invited governments from all over the world to come together and share their progress on gender-responsive policing and say NO MORE to the low rates of referrals, charges, and convictions we see globally. This will be achieved worldwide when women believe they will get fair treatment if they report and that justice will prevail.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

One Survivor’s Journey of Art, Music, and Passion

Lindsay Diles is a musician, sexual assault survivor, and activist. She sat down to share her experiences and tips for other survivors to navigate their healing during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Can you tell us a little about your experiences as a survivor of sexual violence?

I was in my second year of college when I met the individual who, little did I know at the time, would change the course of my entire life, in an instant.  

We met working together at a restaurant. He invited me to a party he was having at his place, telling me that there would be people there who would be “good for me to meet” (I was just changing my major over to Theater).  He came to pick me up after we got out of work, as my car died earlier that day, and on the way, he made it a point to reassure me that if I needed a ride back to my place, he would take care of it.  Throughout the night, we talked, shared stories, really seemed to hit it off. 

We started out at his apartment, where the party was going on, and eventually made our way downtown to a dance club. I watched my drink the entire night, never setting it down or taking my eyes off it for a second.  I knew where all of the exits were, in a weird way – as if my body could anticipate something felt off.  I was with people I didn’t know very well and so I was being extra cautious. We danced, kissed, had a great time, and then the party moved back to his apartment, where I realized I wasn’t feeling well. I knew I hadn’t had that much to drink but something just felt “off.”  He offered his bedroom as a quiet place where I could rest, away from everyone.  Little did I know, moments later, that would be the place where my life was changed forever.  

The Aftermath 

Everything was completely upside down.  I was confused.  Things weren’t making sense.  I remember thinking that I liked this guy and yet I also remember saying NO.  Multiple times. I remember being frozen, completely detached from my body at one point, as if I was watching a movie.  “It was someone else that was on the screen, not me.  These things didn’t happen to me.  I was careful.” I remember saying that I needed to go home, back to my apartment, and he said that it was too late and the cabs weren’t running this late.  And I remember believing him.  

I was a virgin.  

My brain couldn’t comprehend what was happening and that all of a sudden I had become “a statistic.” 

I remember coming back to my apartment and telling my roommates “Yes, I had sex, but I said no,” and still, my brain didn’t register what that actually meant. I remember showering, starting to process it all, trying to wash out the shame, guilt, fear, confusion.  I threw away my underwear. 

There was a bubble inside me that wanted to keep this a secret.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, and didn’t want anyone else to know what happened.  I felt as if I did something to bring this on myself. “Maybe I should have said this, or shouldn’t have said that.” We all know that’s not the case, now. 

Inside that bubble rose a voice that was fighting to be heard.  It wanted to fight, to be seen, believed, vindicated.  I went to the police, DA, local authorities, yet I received responses similar to many victims where the questioning was turned back to me. “What was I wearing, how much did I have to drink, why did I go to the bedroom…” I was completely dismissed, then dismantled. 

Speaking Out 

I had one last shot and that was campus representation.  Finally, someone would represent me – through a campus trial. When I decided to come forward and people started to find out, instead of being met with support and compassion, I was made into a mockery.  Shamed. Ridiculed. Scoffed at. Betrayed. “Friends” taking sides. Belittled. Threatened. Property vandalized. 

Somehow, I kept going. 

I remember the ones who stood up for me, even when they were in the minority.  I am grateful for them to this day. They are the ones who sat in the back corner of the campus courtroom even when they were outnumbered by the “defendant’s side.” They are the ones who stood up for me and spoke on my behalf as witnesses, even when they were outnumbered and in the minority. The one who held my mother’s hand in that courtroom for 13 hours as the campus trial dragged on from night into the morning, while my father sat beside me to face “the defendant” together. 

I choose to use the word “defendant” because this individual no longer affects my world.  This individual has never faced jail time, although he was found guilty. This individual walks the streets where our loved ones also walk. This individual knows exactly what was done and will have to live with that.  But this individual no longer affects my world. 

The Comeback

“Go where you feel safe and celebrated. Remember you are not alone.”

I share all this because it’s important to recognize there’s a lot more that goes on beyond the act of rape itself, which in and of itself is traumatic enough. The aftermath that follows is a huge component that leaves a significant impact. It has affected me significantly and still does in certain moments to this day. 

My story is not about a finish line. My story is not about the rainbows and butterflies that come in once you’ve “unlocked the next achievement” or the “finish line” that you cross.  The truth is, some days that “finish line” seems like it keeps getting pulled further away. Other days, you do “unlock the next achievement.” My story is about taking my power back.  Taking my power back means getting to say “you no longer affect my happiness and my ability to rise” and developing ways to dance with this trauma, not away from it, to use it as fuel to continue to rise. My story is about reclaiming my own power – back in my body, in my mind, in my environment, in the way I speak to myself – it’s about embracing and celebrating myself for who I am, my body for doing everything in her power to survive, embracing my journey, my “messiness” and my resilience during every single step of this healing journey. This power lives in YOU – no matter how many doors it takes to access, all you need is the right key that works for you.  

How have your experiences as a sexual assault survivor shaped your work as a musician and artist? 

Singing literally saved my life. As a musician and artist, my experiences as a sexual assault survivor have helped me access a place of vulnerability and passion within myself that has helped tremendously in my healing process. Taking raw emotions and turning them into an art form has always been a way in which I’ve processed and gotten through tough situations.  It has shaped the way I focus, perform, and express the feelings experienced in music and lyrics in songs to tell these stories in the most authentic way. When I’m performing on stage, I’m home. 

No matter the feeling – love, sadness, heartbreak, anger, hurt, happiness – there’s someone out there who has been in that place or experiencing these feelings. I truly feel as an artist, it is both my duty and honor to be able to access these feelings and express them in a manner that brings this story to life in such a relatable way. It is a way to use your voice to speak out on behalf of those who may not be able to or feel they have one. 

We turn pain into power, and healing into helping others. We continue to shine our light so other survivors can find us, even if that lightsaber gets heavy. 

“Unshaken” is a song I wrote to help me get through my own feelings as part of my healing process, and my hope is that it can continue to heal others the way it’s helped a portion of my healing in writing it.

In your healing, what people and relationships have been most beneficial to you? How do you prioritize fostering those relationships?


The ones who truly see me and celebrate me for who I am, in all of my “messy moments” or “being too much” are the true warriors, because they keep showing up and keep supporting me no matter what.  I am extremely grateful for my immediate family, my “framily” (close friends who have become family), and my coach and therapist(s) who have been an amazing support system for me over the years in the many stages of my healing process. The most beneficial relationships for me have been the ones who have been next to me on the path in my journey back to finding myself again.  

In order to access my light again, I’ve had to sit with many extremely dark times – extremely long periods of time that sometimes I wasn’t sure if I would ever come out of these moments. No matter how dark it gets, even moments as I’ve recollected my thoughts for this blog, I’ve had to constantly remind myself that it does get better.  It’s in these moments, the not so easy parts, where my friends, family and coaching support I’ve received on this journey have stepped up and shown me what it feels to experience love, support and safety, which has transformed into how I may be that person for myself. My friends and family, coach and therapists, have helped me ride these waves, no matter how rough it gets – sometimes handing me the surfboard and other times peeling me off the bottom of the ocean, as I figured out how I could “shine” again.   

I am extremely grateful for the friends and family along the way who have allowed me to feel safe again, which has been extremely beneficial to my healing.

What techniques do you employ to soothe yourself when you feel triggered? How have these techniques improved your life?


Beyond the mud masks and spa time, in addition to music providing a great way for me to self-soothe, it’s not always accessible. I’ve put together a “Trigger Toolkit” for myself to help in times when I’m feeling activated/triggered, when it’s hard to catch my breath and the knots in my stomach start coming on in full force. These techniques have improved my life significantly. Each item in these toolkits may look different for everyone, depending on what works for each individual.

I can react, but I’m still in control – of my body, of my mind, of my safety.

Here are some samples from my “Trigger Toolkit”:

  • Moving my body – yoga, running, walks, kickboxing, punching pillows, dancing, sensual movement, breaking a sweat
  • Ripping paper/cardboard – soothing/stress relieving sensation (provided by former therapist)
  • Deep breathing – alternate nostril breathing, left nostril breathing, counting your breaths “in for 3, 2, 1, out for 3, 2, 1” or “in for 4, 3, 2, 1, out for 4, 3, 2, 1”
  • Adding mantras to breaths – Breathe in “I am here,” Breathe out “I am safe.” (or create your own saying that works for you)
  • Adding tapping to breaths – alternating fingers, maybe even breathing with tapping and mantras
  • Meditating – quieting the mind and drawing your attention inward, sometimes with music, other times in silence, depending on the mood
  • Looking up at the moon, breathing it in and out – same with sunsets
  • Making a list of things you are grateful for
  • Trauma-informed yoga
  • Notice 3 things you can see, hear, feel, smell – bringing awareness to present surroundings
  • Take rest – whether it means canceling or rescheduling obligations until you feel safe to resume, or simply taking time out of your day to find stillness, rest your body, nourish your body, give your body sleep and rest she deserves

Based on your experiences, what is one message that you would share with other survivors as they embark on their healing journeys?

I’m a person going through life who has been violated, is still recovering, and has something to say.

To the thrivers who have endured incredible strength through unimaginable circumstances. You are fierce, you are strong, and you are not alone.

Healing is not linear – it can show up in circles where some days you’re on top and others, you’re at the bottom of the wheel. The important part is that you keep showing up for yourself, every single day, especially on the hard days. I constantly have to work at my own “stuff.”  I have to ask myself, “What does my body need?” “How can I best take care of ME right now?” Allowing ourselves to sit with the triggers as they come in, feel it to heal it, and have compassion for yourself.

GO WHERE YOU FEEL SAFE AND CELEBRATED.

REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

 

Follow Lindsay on social media at @lindsaydilesmusic.

If or someone you love has experienced sexual violence and is seeking free, confidential support, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

We Can End Digital Victim-Blaming: How to Support Survivors of Sexual Violence Online

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2021, NO MORE is proud to join the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for critical discussions about online sexual harassment and abuse.

Preventing and ending sexual violence requires societal change, and much of that change is attitudinal. If we want to assess and respond to the root causes of sexual violence, we have to start with widely-held, cultural beliefs. Of all of the beliefs that reinforce violence, victim-blaming, or the assumption that survivors of assault are somehow at fault for their own abuse, is among the most damaging.

What does online victim-blaming look like?

In our society, it is not difficult to find instances of victim-blaming online. If you spend any time on the internet, especially in the #MeToo era, you’ve likely seen the comment section under a post about sexual violence. Many commenters offer words of encouragement — supporting survivors, wishing them a safe recovery from trauma, or applauding their bravery for coming forward. But, inevitably, you will also encounter victim-blaming statements like:

  • “Why didn’t you come forward sooner/immediately report the assault?”
  • “You just want attention or a payday.”
  • “You had to know what would happen if you went to his apartment/hotel room.”
  • “How were you dressed at the time of the assault?”
  • “How much had you had to drink?”
  • “You shouldn’t have been out alone that late.”

There are many other ways that someone might subtly suggest that a survivor either provoked an assault or did not do enough to stop it.

None of these statements are relevant, and they are not justifications for sexual assault.

Read More

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

Preventing Violence Takes Collaboration and Innovation

NO MORE was founded on the premise that it will take all of us—from all parts and walks of life—to stop and prevent domestic and sexual violence. We believe in bringing organizations, leaders and communities together to be part of the solution. 

That’s why we’ve teamed up with more than 1,400 diverse allies, advocates and survivors and have more than 40 chapters around the world. It’s why we work with governmental agencies and corporations, even those that are not always the most comfortable or perfect partners because we know we need to speak not only to the “choir” to make progress. And it’s why we provide all of our public awareness campaigns, educational resources and community organizing tools free-of-charge for anyone committed to stopping and preventing violence. 

So, naturally, we applauded when we learned that industry competitors Lyft and Uber (which is one of our corporate partners) decided to join forces to help prevent sexual assault. Their new Industry Sharing Safety Initiative announced yesterday is a great example of how the private sector can have a real impact. Now the two companies will share account information on drivers who were deactiviated for the most serious incidents of sexual assault and fatal assault. If a driver was banned from one platform, he or she won’t be able to drive on the other, giving all riders more peace of mind. 

It’s fitting that Lyft and Uber announced this new effort during NO MORE Week, a time when people and organizations all around the world shine a collective spotlight on the importance of stopping and preventing domestic violence and sexual assault. From the NO MORE Week Virtual 5k Walk/Run to the KNOW MORE Global Dialogue series, thousands of people are taking part and speaking out across the world. 

But the truth is that we need more awareness, attention and effort year-round. Domestic and sexual violence was already an epidemic before COVID-19, but the pandemic has greatly exacerbated the problem. 

We hope that other private sector leaders, in other industries, decide to unite and use their resources, technologies and platforms to prioritize safety and strengthen violence prevention efforts. The time for collaboration and innovation is now. We’ll be here to help speed progress along however we can.

 

If you have or someone you love has experienced sexual assault and is seeking help, contact RAINN’s confidential hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

Researcher Sarah Walker on The NO MORE Report: COVID-19’s Global Impact on Domestic & Sexual Violence Support Services

Sarah Walker studied MSc International Development at the University of Edinburgh and has conducted extensive research on female empowerment and violence against women. She has experience working with both local and international nonprofits in a range of countries around the world. Most recently, she has worked on humanitarian projects in Greek refugee camps where she implemented programs to support women and children. Sarah is currently working as a Research Associate at the NO MORE Foundation.

 

It has been well documented that during the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of domestic and sexual violence have surged around the globe – a crisis termed the “Shadow Pandemic”. What has been less documented are the significant challenges facing the sector working to protect the victims and survivors. 

I was asked by the NO MORE Foundation to address this global research deficit and conduct an exciting new piece of research that reveals the real experiences of support services addressing domestic and sexual violence during COVID-19. I am so excited to announce the launch of A NO MORE Report: COVID-19’s Global Impact on Domestic and Sexual Violence Support Services. This global study represents the voice of organizations and their experience of COVID-19 across four impact areas: services and demand, funding, staff, and the future.

What I loved most about writing NO MORE’s report was having the opportunity to amplify the voices of those working tirelessly to protect victims and end domestic and sexual violence.

As the researcher, I was responsible for designing a survey assessing the impact of COVID-19 and distributing it to support services in over 180 countries. The global reach of the survey was made possible through the opportunity to engage with NO MORE’s huge global network of allies, chapters and directory of support services. I loved the challenge of creating a short but powerful survey that addressed the main impacts of the pandemic, whilst remaining relevant to a global audience. 

Having recently graduated with a master’s degree in International Development, I was so excited about this new opportunity to apply my academic knowledge and writing skills within a different space – policy and advocacy. During my time with NO MORE,  I have developed my research and writing skills considerably as I adapted my writing style beyond one suited only to an academic audience.  I have also really enjoyed the challenge of meeting shorter deadlines and being part of a collaborative process with the NO MORE team. 

However, what I loved most about writing NO MORE’s report was having the opportunity to amplify the voices of those working tirelessly to protect victims and end domestic and sexual violence. I was given the chance to hear the real, human story behind the statistics by listening to the experiences of staff and leadership and the impact of the pandemic on their mental health and wellbeing. I hope to continue to be able to advocate for the needs of these support workers throughout my career in the shared mission of preventing and ending domestic and sexual violence worldwide. 

 The Results

The findings of the report were guided by the responses of 111 organizations across 31 countries. I was really encouraged that this survey managed to reach such a diverse range of organizations and I am grateful to everybody that participated for their time and generosity in providing valuable insights during these challenging times. It is such a pleasure to be able to share some of the findings from the report with you. 

The survey found that at the same time that demand for services escalated, COVID-19 impacted service providers’ capacity to support victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence:

  • 88% were impacted by COVID-19 in their ability to support people who need their services. 
  • 75% had to reduce or cancel their programs or services due to COVID-19.

The report also looks at the role of COVID-19 in exacerbating the pre-existing funding crisis facing the domestic and sexual violence sector worldwide: 

  • 40% of the organizations surveyed saw a funding decline during the pandemic 
  • 82% of organizations believe fundraising will be even more difficult this year and next. 

In addition, the study explores the impact of the pandemic on staff levels and wellbeing. It was not surprising, given the sensitive nature of working with clients who face a real and present danger of violence, that staff members reported increased pressures during the pandemic: 

  • 81% of the organizations felt that pressures on their staff had increased.
  • 53% of organizations reported a decline in staff’s mental health. 

Despite the numerous challenges facing organizations and staff, I was really encouraged to see that the findings point to some positive outcomes of COVID-19:

  • 55% of organizations managed to sustain staff levels.
  • 71% were able to innovate as a direct result of the pandemic. 

It is a testament to the resilience of the sector that despite facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, organizations were still able to innovate. I am excited to see what implications these innovations will have for the future of the sector, in particular the ability to reach more victims through online service provision. 

The report also discusses the opinions of organizations about the future of the sector and calls for more attention, funding, and innovation to prevent and end domestic and sexual violence around the world. 

Read the Full Report

 

If you or a loved one has experienced domestic or sexual violence and is seeking help, contact RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

KNOW MORE – Global Dialogue on Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence

KNOW MORE

Global Dialogue on Ending Domestic & Sexual Violence During NO MORE Week 2021

Throughout NO MORE Week 2021, NO MORE chapters and partners from around the worldwill participate in a webinar series titled KNOW MORE – Global Dialogue on Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence. From the UK to Washington State, these sessions will feature expert speakers addressing a range of topics related to preventing violence and supporting survivors. See more information and the full list of webinars below.

March 9th

UK Says NO MORE
Community Response to Domestic Abuse – 2:00 – 3:30pm GMT
Join NO MORE’s UK Chapter for an event on its Safe Spaces initiative. The campaign, created in partnership with pharmacies across the UK, delivered Safe Spaces for domestic violence victims to safely access support.

Register

March 11

Ecuador and Colombia Dice NO MÁS
#SegurosenLínea – Prevención del Abuse Sexual a Niñas y Niños en Internet – 5:30 – 7:30pm CT.
Join NO MORE’s Ecuador and Colombia chapters for a Spanish-language session on online safety for children during COVID-19, increasing awareness of online predation and sexual abuse.

Register

Washington Says NO MORE
Predators Among Us –
11:00am – 12:00pm PST
– Join NO MORE’s Washington Chapter for a virtual session presented by Dr. Kathie Mathis, nationally recognized expert in trauma and perpetrators. Learn about the psychology of domestic violence perpetration and understand the mind of a predator.

Register

March 12

FORWARD
No More Sexual Harassment on Campus: Exploring Gaps in Services & Policies –
3:00 – 5:00pm GMT
Join UK-based organization FORWARD for an event exploring the intersectional nature of sexual harassment and violence, with a spotlight on the experiences of Black and minority young women in universities.

Register

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

NO MORE Intern Mel Holman—Domestic Violence Impacts on the Mental Health of LGBTQIA+ Survivors

I had the pleasure of interning for NO MORE during the Fall 2020 semester of my senior year at Arizona State University. Joining during October, I had the opportunity to work on many meaningful projects for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 16 Days of Activism, Giving Tuesday, and much more. While researching the many statistics and information about domestic violence, one thing stood out to me: there was little information about abuse and its mental health impacts in the LGBTQIA+ community. As a psychology major and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I decided to dive deeper into the intersection of domestic violence and mental health.

Everyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, deserves to receive the help that they need after experiencing abuse.

As part of this community, I am all too aware of being left out of various conversations; it can be challenging at times. Exclusion from domestic violence conversations creates a lack of knowledge on the topic. Without the proper knowledge, it can be more difficult for sufferers to be aware that they are being abused. Individuals lacking knowledge can then end up staying in the situation or even treat future partners similarly. Exclusion from domestic violence conversations can also create feelings of hopelessness. A person can feel stuck in a situation because they might think that there is no help for them. Inclusion and awareness make all the difference.

For LGBTQIA+ individuals experiencing domestic violence, many questions can arise, such as:

  • What programs can I go to for help that will accept me?
  • Will the people in my life who disapprove of me offer help?
  • I’m not out; what do I do?
  • Is what I’m experiencing actually domestic violence?
  • If a program does not explicitly include me, where do I seek help?

These questions represent just some of the additional obstacles that we in the LGBTQIA+ community face when dealing with and reporting domestic violence. This uncertainty leads to underreporting, even though domestic violence occurs just as frequently in LGBTQIA+ relationships as in heterosexual relationships.

I wanted to make sure that the voices of all survivors are heard. I surveyed members of the LGBTQIA+ community who had experienced domestic violence about the abuse’s effects on their mental health. Domestic violence is more than just physical violence. It is also emotional abuse, financial abuse, isolation, stalking, and more. An added challenge that individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community can face is a partner threatening to “out” them. In fact, 22% of our survey participants stated that this was a form of abuse they were subjected to. Here are some other findings that stood out:

  • Almost 40% of survey respondents were abused for four or more years.
  • The four most prevalent types of abuse were: Emotional Abuse: 97%, Verbal Abuse: 76%, Physical Abuse: 61%, and Sexual Abuse: 61%. 
  • 73% of respondents rated their mental health during domestic violence as “poor.”
  • 88% self-reported that their mental health worsened after domestic violence, with 91% of respondents reporting at least one mental health issue after.
  • After domestic violence, the highest reported mental health issues were PTSD: 67%, Anxiety: 64%, and Depression: 54%. Cases of PTSD went up by 233%.
  • 64% of respondents sought out therapy after, with 61% stating that it was effective.

Some respondents reported additional challenges. For example, some individuals who were abused by women did not immediately recognize the abuse, as domestic violence is often only portrayed as being perpetrated by men. Domestic violence can transpire in any relationship with any gender, and the experiences of those abused by women are valid. Many survivors, although affected mentally, could not receive treatment because of a lack of money and insurance. The resources provided at the end of this post offer counseling services and referrals to help survivors find treatment at a cost that works for them. 

To make more LGBTQIA+ individuals feel more comfortable to seek out help, we need to remove the community’s stigma. That means ensuring that domestic violence hotlines specifically state they are LGBTQIA+ friendly. Unfortunately, if it is not explicitly said, some LGBTQIA+ individuals will not utilize resources because of prior instances of being turned away or not being treated equally. When individuals do use services, they can quickly tell if someone has the proper training to work with LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Everyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, deserves to receive the help that they need after experiencing abuse. If you think you are experiencing domestic violence, please use some of the resources below. Too often, the internal, mental health effects of domestic violence are overlooked. If you have experienced domestic violence, getting help for any mental health issues can start the healing process. Addressing all of these emotions can be difficult, but it will be worth it in the end. If you’re a survivor reading this and are unsure of getting treatment, just know that you are brave for surviving.

Resources

Remember, you can always contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 for help. They will help you if you’re gay, straight, female, male, etc. You can reach the hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233). You can also chat with a person live at www.thehotline.org. However, if you feel more comfortable in an LGBTQIA+ space, there are services all over the country that specifically support LGBTAIQ+ victims of domestic violence. Here are some:

Anti-Violence Project | avp.org | 24/7 Hotline: 212-714-1141
Based in NYC, AVP is striving to end abuse in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities. They offer counseling, advocacy, and training programs. Their hotline is in English and Spanish.

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project | gmdvp.org/gmdvp | 24 Hour Hotline: 800.832.1901
The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project offers crisis intervention, support, housing/employment advocacy, and support groups to victims and survivors.

LGBT National Help Center | glbthotline.org | 888-843-4564 | Under 25: 800-246-7743 | 50+: 888.234.7243
The LGBT National Hotline offers hotlines for all ages, with two hotlines explicitly geared towards young adults and seniors. They also have online peer support chats and youth chat rooms.

Los Angeles LGBT Center | lalgbtcenter.org | 323-993-7649
This LA-based center offers safety planning, crisis counseling, survivor groups, and workshops about prevention. They can also assist in legal services and restraining orders. There are fees for services; however, they’re based on a sliding scale with no person being turned away.

Love Is Respect | loveisrespect.org | 24/7 Help: 1.866.331.9474 + Text: LOVEIS to 22522
Love is Respect is an inclusive safe space for individuals aged 13 – 26 to prevent dating abuse and learn about healthy relationships. They address issues such as what to do if your family disapproves, keeping your relationship a secret, and they have a quiz to see if your relationship is healthy.

The Network/La Red | tnlr.org | 24 Hour Hotlines: 617.742.4911 + Toll-Free: 800.832.1901
Run by survivors, The Network/La Red works to end partner abuse. They provide crisis intervention, safety planning, support groups, and a housing program in Massachusetts. Additionally, they offer training and education programs about partner abuse in the LGBQ/T communities and working with survivors.

The NW Network | nwnetwork.org | 206.568.7777
Founded by LGBT survivors, the NW Network provides counseling, support groups, safety planning, legal advocacy, and training in a Relationship Skills course in the Northwest.

Trans Lifeline | translifeline.org | 24/7 (877) 565-8860
Trans Lifeline is a bilingual peer-run trans hotline for any type of emergency call. They offer emotional support, resources, and microgrants to the trans community.

Women Against Abuse | womenagainstabuse.org | 24 Hour Hotline: 1.866.723.3014
Although not only for the LGBTQIA+ community, Women Against Abuse acknowledges the challenges they face, and all of their programs are open to everyone. They offer safety planning, counseling, and have a chat on their website if you’d rather speak that way. If you are in the Philadelphia area, they also offer residential services and legal aid.

 

If you are still unsure of where to go, many cities and towns offer resources for people experiencing crises that are not part of the 911 program. They can provide services such as 24/7 hotlines, emotional support, victim advocacy, assistance with protection orders, and many other services. Everyone deserves a happy and healthy relationship. That includes you.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

United Together, NO MORE Joins United Nations for Discussion on Workplace Responses to Domestic Violence During COVID-19

NO MORE Global Executive Director, Pamela Zaballa and Director of Partnerships, Melissa Morbeck, joined leaders from United Nations Mental Health and Wellbeing, United Nations Department of Safety and Security, and the World Bank to discuss workplace responses to domestic violence during the COVID-19 health crisis. See the full panel discussion below.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

NO MORE Event Guide

We want you to get involved. 

Since 2013, NO MORE has been working to end domestic and sexual violence by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change. Thanks to your tremendous support, we’ve made great progress and grown exponentially. Today, NO MORE has more than 1,400 allied organizations and 40 chapters around the world. Together, we are engaging millions in the effort to stop and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

Any individual, organization, or corporation that wants to help end domestic violence and sexual assault can use the NO MORE symbol to show their commitment to this cause. The goal is to encourage as many people as possible to say “NO MORE.”

Change can happen everywhere. That’s why we encourage everyone to make change by hosting a NO MORE event. For example, some people may choose to gather a handful of friends and family to talk about the issues. Some may plan a workplace gathering to support employees and communities. Others might prefer producing a larger event where college students and faculty come together on campus for an issue-driven discussion. Whatever you prefer, the format, location, and scale are up to you. The goals of NO MORE Activities, however, are the same:

    1. Start conversations and educate people about domestic violence and sexual assault to help eliminate the stigma, shame, and blame that surround them.
    2. Encourage action year-round. Use events to help participants learn how using the NO MORE symbol can help raise awareness and support for ending domestic violence and sexual assault in their communities.
    3. Help drive additional support to NO MORE and to local domestic violence and sexual assault organizations across the country.

What kinds of activities do you suggest?

The scale and content are really up to you and how much time and resources you have. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to upload photos and information about your event so you can inspire others! Be sure to use #NOMORE when you post so that we can follow and share.

Whether you are planning a large event or a more intimate gathering, below are some ways to engage attendees in a discussion. 

Activity Ideas:

  • Have NO MORE  “I Say NO MORE” signs on hand that attendees can personalize. Don’t forget to capture photos of people holding their personalized signs, and share them on social media with the hashtags #NOMORE.
  • Consider inviting one or more speakers from local organizations to discuss the many nuances of domestic violence or sexual assault, how these issues have impacted their family or community, and why talking about these topics is so important. If more than one speaker, try to include people from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Facilitate role-playing of various conversation scenarios
  • Break into small groups/facilitate a large group discussion on how to apply the tools in the NO MORE Toolkit— conversation starters, warning signs, etc.—on the family, school, or community level.
  • Display the statistics and conversation starters and other resources in this guide around the room. Attendees can check out the displays and collect printed versions of the resources as they go.
  • Contact a local domestic violence/sexual assault organization and see what kinds of things they need— toiletries, food, school supplies—and then ask people to bring those items to the event.
  • Serve NO MORE blue donuts, cookies, popcorn, sandwiches – whatever you can think of to integrate the symbol and the color into elements of your activity to make it memorable and fun.

Sample Tweets and Facebook Posts

  • [Insert your organization name] is saying #NOMORE to domestic violence and sexual assault? Join us for [insert event name or link] #ChangeHappensHere
  • The #COVID19 health crisis has caused a dramatic increase in instances of domestic violence. We’re saying #NOMORE. Join us for [insert event name or link].
  • No matter where we are, #ChangeHappensHere. We can all play a part in ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Join us for [insert event name or link]. #NOMORE
  • NO MORE [insert your excuse here] #ChangeHappensHere [Attach NO MORE Sign Picture]
  • [Insert Organization Name] is saying #NOMORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. Will you join us? #ChangeHappensHere
  • Know the facts: 24 people every minute are victims of physical violence, rape and stalking from their partners. We’re saying #NOMORE. #ChangeHappensHere
  • Know the facts: Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. We’re saying #NOMORE. #ChangeHappensHere
  • Know the facts: Nearly half of all men and women have experienced verbal abuse from a partner. #NOMOREVerbalAbuse #NOMORE #ChangeHappensHere

 

Once you’ve organized your NO MORE event, be sure to add it to our events page! Thank you for your support. Together, we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE

This summer, I have been fortunate to work as a Digital & Social Media intern for NO MORE. The issues of domestic violence and sexual assault have always been important to me. Currently, I work on my own college campus at Michigan State University as a Peer Educator. I teach freshman and sophomore students how to be an active bystander, what consent means, and how to access resources within our community. It can be intimidating speaking to and educating 30 people in a classroom, let alone the whole world like NO MORE strives to do. 

For the past month, I have had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain and witness the dedication and hard work behind NO MORE, the largest and most successful domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and engagement initiative in history. With 1,400 allied organizations and over 40 state, local, and international chapters, NO MORE is bringing its message of prevention to the entire world.

With one in four women and one in seven men experiencing intimate partner violence and 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men having experienced sexual violence in their lives, we know that this message is desperately needed.

For those of us in the domestic and sexual violence prevention field, our voice is only as strong as the people who carry our message forward.

As an intern, I assisted with NO MORE’s online communications, creating posts and content to incite interest in our message and engage our existing audience of survivors, activists, and allies. The response and engagement we see is inspiring and has taught me that, no matter the size of your audience, you can still have a resounding impact on those around you when it comes to preventing domestic and sexual violence.

I’ve learned more than anything from this experience the importance of increasing awareness as a global community. Each voice speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault makes an impact. It’s critical to use our own voices to inspire change and to encourage others to speak out as well. From those who have dedicated their life to this mission like the NO MORE team and myself, to someone who is not engaged in the prevention movement at all, we all have the potential and responsibility to make a difference. Sharing statistics, providing support resources, or being there for someone in their healing journey as a survivor can all help. 

For my own work at my university, I hope I can inspire other students to be part of the change we want to see on our campus. My job at Michigan State has taught me that as students, we are never alone, a message I share with them frequently. My time with NO MORE has made me more confident in the truth behind this message, because I have now been exposed to a global community dedicated to empowering and assisting people in their unique journeys. 

One of the things we emphasize at NO MORE is that you don’t have to be a survivor to be part of the community advocating for these issues. I hope to teach my own peers that anyone can be an ally, because by doing so, you could help a survivor in your life. It’s very likely that within your own family or friend group, you know someone who has been impacted. By speaking out and simply trying to help, you become part of ending the stigma and shame survivors are often burdened with. For those of us in the domestic and sexual violence prevention field, our voice is only as strong as the people who carry our message forward.

We look to our supporters to spread this message of prevention, safety, and equality to their friends, family, and peers. For any person feeling that they are without a voice or losing hope, I wish to remind them that you have a fierce team of women at NO MORE tirelessly working to give you hope, visibility, and support. And to our supporters and survivors: you inspire us. We believe you, we see you, we support you, and your courage and resilience will always be the driving force behind our work.


National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

Get News Updates and Alerts From NO MORE