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Increased awareness of partner violence within the LGBT community and the resources available to cope with the issue are at the forefront of a $25,000 grant recently awarded to the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, and Bisexual Community Center by Verizon.
The grant will make it possible for The Center to launch a social marketing campaign to ensure that a greater number of San Diego LGBT community members are able to identify the signs and symptoms of relationship violence and are aware of the resources available to assist their friends and family members who may be affected.
Dr. Delores Jacob, CEO of The Center and a trained psychologist, stated that, "Intimate partner violence is a public health problem of terrifying proportions within all communities, but LGBT partners face additional, unique obstacles when seeking help. Verizon has been a key partner in strengthening The Center's Relationship Violence Treatment and Intervention Program, one of the only organizational programs in San Diego County that specifically targets and works with partner violence in the LGBT community."
Domestic violence survivors in the LGBT community face unique obstacles when attempting to access treatment. Not all organizations offering treatment may be experienced in providing care or service to the LGBT population. The Center's Relationship Violence Treatment and Intervention Program is designed to address these barriers to care and provide a safe and healing environment for victims of abuse.
"Domestic violence is a tragic epidemic that impacts everyone, regardless of income, race or sexual orientation. It is a problem in our society that must be addressed," said Tim McCallion, Verizon West region president. "Verizon's partnership with the San Diego LGBT Community Center is part of our efforts to increase awareness of domestic violence and provide compassionate care to all members of the community."
State Senator Christine Kehoe (SD-39) said, "Experts say that in times of economic crises the need for these types of programs increases. As a result, this help is more important than ever. As available governmental resources decline, these community partnerships truly make a difference in the lives of many."
"Same sex partner violence in the LGBT community can go under the radar," said Assemblymember Toni Atkins (AD-76). "Fortunately, the San Diego LGBT Community Center and Verizon's partnership will increase awareness of this issue and get people the help they need in a setting they feel most comfortable in."
The Center is dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the health and well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV population by providing activities, programs and services that create community, provide essential resources and embrace, promote and support the Center's cultural diversity.