Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ami's Safe Space Project

Ami Angelwings is a Toronto blogger who writes about feminism, trans issues, comics, and the various intersections thereof. In real life, she works as a consultant to various social services organizations in order to help them create more trans-positive and intersectional policies. She works with rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, among others.

Since most of the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are cis women, these organizations tend to focus on helping them, sometimes exclusively. However, "most" does not mean "all". Sometimes victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are trans men and women, or genderqueer people, or even cis men. And Ami has found that even social service organizations that are open to trans and genderqueer people aren't able to serve them, for the simple reason that potential clients are afraid to approach them for fear of being turned away for not being cis women.

So Ami has decided to do something about it. As Ami puts it:

So this is my Project, and what I want to try to start, and I know I'm not a v big blogger and I'm going to try to pull in more ppl, but I want to start a "Safe Space Project".

I'm starting with cis and trans men, trans women and genderqueer ppl, for now because those are the groups that typically worry about how agencies will treat them, and the general stereotype is that there AREN'T agencies, esp related to abuse and rape that will help them. And I want to create a (hopefully comprehensive) list of agencies (wherever in the world you live that you know of some) that are supportive of these groups, regardless of if they have "woman" or "man" in the title. :] Because I want a resource where ppl can look at it and know that there IS support in their area and that they CAN go to these places. So I want ppl to submit agencies that they KNOW (whether thru working w/ them, working FOR them, going to them, having friends go to them, calling them up and asking comprehensively, etc) are supportive and accepting of trans women, trans men, genderqueer individuals and cis men.

Nomi's friend Johnny Pez has already compiled a list of domestic violence shelters in Rhode Island, along with their admissions policies, so I won't repeat his work here. What I will do is urge the readers of this blog to spread the word. If you blog, write your own post about Ami's project. If you live outside of Rhode Island, call around your area, and post the results on your blog (if you have one), or post them in Ami's comment section, or email them to her at ami_angelwings at hotmail dot com.

It's a worthy endeavor, and the more people who respond to Ami, the more comprehensive and useful her list will become.

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