180 and the LGBTQI+ Community

180 Turning Lives Around is passionate about providing an extensive array of services for individuals affected by sexual and domestic violence, regardless of sexual identity, sexual gender, or sexual orientation. Through on-going professional development, staying current on LGBTQI+ healthcare concerns, and conducting a continuous dialogue with LGBTQI+ community leaders, 180 cultivates a safe, confidential, and empowering environment for victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Sexual Violence is any sexual contact that is without consent. Perpetrators are motivated by power and control. The assault is never the fault of the victim. Sexual violence can be committed by a stranger, however the majority of assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim – an acquaintance, date, friend, and/or family member. It is never acceptable to be grabbed, touched, groped, or penetrated, in anyway, without consent. Sexual violence is not the result of how the victim dressed, danced, acted, or behaved. The only person responsible for a sexual assault is the perpetrator.

180 recognizes that the need to feel safe is paramount. Abusive partners in LGBTQI+ relationships exhibit the same behaviors as abusive partners in heterosexual relationships to gain and maintain power and control, including but not limited to, physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, financial control, and isolation. However, in LGBTQI+ relationships, partners who abuse may exploit societal factors that compound the complex issues a survivor faces in making safety decisions or who leave an abusive relationship. The abuse is never the victim’s fault.

There are many barriers to reporting domestic violence and sexual violence that can include a victim feeling like they are already under attack for their sexual orientation/sexual identity, threats of being “outed,” fear that their HIV status may be exposed, the belief that the abuse was their fault, fear of not being taken seriously or believed because of their sexuality, child custody/visitation issues , and concern that providers are not informed of issues that are unique to the LGBTQI+ community.

180 Turning Lives Around supports the LGBTQI+ Community with:

Domestic Violence Programs and Services and Sexual Violence Programs and Services:

180 provides free supportive services including confidential 24/7 hotlines, trained advocates who assist victims by providing emotional support, resources, and accompaniment during hospital forensic examinations and police procedures, court liaisons who help victims through the court restraining order process, counseling and support groups, a safe house that provides emergency shelter for individuals and their children, and transitional housing. 180 has a satellite counseling office conveniently located in Neptune, NJ.

Safe House:

When domestic violence forces individuals, children, and families to leave their homes, 180’s Safe House is a safe haven. Individuals, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and their family can stay for a period of 30-60 days in a confidential location. Our safe house is the only one in New Jersey that provides shelter for males. We also have a partnership to provide free foster pet care for residents of our Safe House. The Safe House features 12 individual family bedroom suites with private baths, communal kitchen, dining and living areas, laundry facilities, a teen “rec” room, two creative arts therapy studios, counseling rooms, a computer/library resource room, individual storage units for each family, outdoor playground, and garden. Residents are provided with counseling, advocacy, and assistance in finding housing. Art therapy and counseling are available for children.

Advocacy and Outreach:

180 works to mobilize with concerned individuals, organizations, and community groups to join our efforts to end violence against men, women, and children. Our LGBTQI+ Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator not only advises our staff on current issues, but also conducts outreach and awareness activities throughout the LGBTQI+ community and builds bridges between community organizations to ensure a safe space at 180 for the LGBTQI+ community.

Professional and Community Education:

180 strives to break the cycle of violence by bringing our vast expertise in the areas of sexual violence and domestic violence to the classroom, professional organizations, and community groups. We educate our staff and advocates, law enforcement, and the community at large on relevant issues surrounding sexual violence and domestic violence within the LBGTQI+ community.

For further information call our hotline at (888) 843-9262.