Domestic violence panel triggers participant response

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On March 15, the Tennessee Equality Project hosted a panel discussion at OutCentral on domestic violence in our community. Nashville resident and community member Terry DeMars, an artist who we profiled last month, posted the following personal account and reflection to Facebook after attending the discussion. Terry has graciously allowed us to re-post it here.

The other day I attended a panel discussion hosted by the Tennessee Equality Project about Domestic Violence in the LGBT Community. I have to say I was surprised by both the statistics and the amount of help that is available to our community. A couple of things I learned is that the largest amount of assaults go unreported, also that the highest amount of assaults happen in our Transgender Community, more specifically to women of color.

My understanding is that some of the reasons these crimes go unreported is that the victim, more often than not, feel they can not or will not get any help because they are transgender, gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This is SO not true. It is NEVER ok, and you can get help.

Along with several members of different organizations, there were also three members of the Davidson County Police Department. They advised that their officers receive sensitivity training specifically for handling these types of situations, and advised that they are taken very serious, and treaded as domestic assault just like any other domestic situation involving a man and a woman.

Please, if you are a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, please get help. It is not ok, and you can get out of it. If you know someone who is being abused, please let them know you are there to support and help them. If you are the abuser, there is help for you too.

Here is some of the contact information of some of the organizations that can and will help.

YWCA (men or women) – 

Symmetry Counseling

Sexual Assault Center

Vanderbilt University 
Project Safe Support Hotline

Metropolitan Nashville Police Department