Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Here’s a gathering that aims to put conversations about domestic violence in the LGBTQ community to the forefront

(WYDaily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(WYDaily file photo/Courtesy of Pixabay)

Nearly one in five women and one in seven men, or more than 10 million people in the U.S. per year, said they’d experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

For transgender people, the risk for domestic violence is greater, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which also reported the group is approximately twice as likely to experience physical violence.

Those statistics and more surrounding intimate partner violence in the LGBTQ community will take center stage at a Dec. 21 event where Latiesha Handie, Hampton Citizens’ Unity Commission executive director, said the department is fostering conversations in a series they’re calling “Rock Your Pride: Find Your Voice.”

“What we try to do is bridge the gap to information, [show] that you’re not alone, and that we have resources available in our city to service a need should you have been somebody who is an advocate, you were impacted, or were far removed but need the information to be able to help someone else in your community,” she said.

The Citizens’ Unity Commission is a department within the city of Hampton that hosts events, talks, and diversity training as part of its mission to “ensure that the city is welcoming, supporting, and inclusive of all citizens,” Handie said.

The commission’s LGBTQ Awareness Committee is hosting what Handie said was the first event in the Rock Your Pride: Find Your Voice series in partnership with other community resource agencies, including the Transitions Family Violence Services, LGBT Life Center, and the Hampton Police Division in an effort to “bridge the gap between law enforcement and the LGBTQ community.”

The event is free and open to the public to which Handie said she hopes those outside of the LGBTQ community will be “present at the table” for a chance at “understanding each perspective.”

“This conversation could create discomfort for longterm understanding,” she said. “You could be far removed from the experience but just listening to empathize with someone’s story creates a synergy of healing.”

Not your average conference, this “mix and mingle” will also feature a live performance by drag performer, “Queen Mary” with free refreshments Dec. 21 at the Element Hotel in Peninsula Town Center from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information or to register, click here. 

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