As part of the initiative, launched in early 2012, six regional Anti-Violence Projects (AVPs)—programs designed to address violence against LGBTQ people—provided training and other assistance to three mainstream organizations. Vera’s evaluation used performance indicators to measure the impact of the AVPs’ assistance on the organizations’ capacity to serve LGBTQ victims. The indicators measured change in critical areas including human and material resources, culture, outreach, service delivery, and systems advocacy.

Vera evaluated how accessible the mainstream service providers were to LGBTQ survivors as compared to heterosexual survivors. Researchers surveyed survivors and LGBTQ service providers and organizers, interviewed mainstream agency staff, analyzed administrative data, and reviewed relevant agency materials (for example, mission statements, policies, and strategic plans). Data was collected three times during the course of the three-year initiative to measure change. The researchers used the evidence they gathered to determine the impact of the AVPs’ activities on the mainstream organizations’ capacities.

Why focus on LGBTQ victims?

Researchers have found that LGBTQ people experience domestic and sexual violence at rates comparable to or higher than those among heterosexuals. However, most victim service providers report they are not working with LGBTQ survivors, nor are these providers equipped to meet their unique needs. LGBTQ survivors are thus left without adequate supports in the face of life-threatening and traumatic experiences. This project aimed to assess how to best equip mainstream providers to meet the needs of LGBTQ survivors.

For more information, contact CVS director Nancy Smith.