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LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force

The LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force is a collaborative effort of community organizations in San Diego committed to helping to bridge the gaps in services and barriers to care faced by LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and relationship violence. Our long-term goal is to end sexual violence overall. 

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Events and Projects

  • Provider Training (Virtual): 
    • This virtual training is intended for providers of care – including mental health providers, medical providers, faith leaders (eg clergy), and other direct service providers working with LGBTQIA+ survivors of sexual and/or relationship violence. Topics covered include LGBTQ+-inclusive practices and trauma-informed care approaches. 

Core Values

The following core values guide the work of the Task Force.

  • We Center and Believe Survivors
  • We Center Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color
  • We commit to anti-racism, decolonization, and dismantling white supremacy
  • We support Disability justice and accessibility
  • We believe that LGBTQIA+ survivors deserve equitable access to resources, justice, and healing
  • We prioritize community-based solutions that center and are led by LGBTQIA+ survivors, and that directly serve and give back to LGBTQIA+ survivors
  • We promote Trauma-Informed Care & Resiliency
  • We assert the right to bodily autonomy of all individuals and endeavor to see a world in which all people practice consent

Our Members

Members of the LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force include both organizational representatives and individual advocates. Current active organizations and agencies represented include: 

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History of the LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force

The LGBTQIA+ Survivor Task Force was founded by LGBTQ+ survivors, responding to their own experiences of the lack of services and care for survivors that were not cisgender, heterosexual women. 

Founders of the Survivor Task Force include Liat Wexler, Walter Castaneda, Christopher Sheehan, and Fernando Lopez. These transgender, non-binary individuals and cisgender men had the shared experience not only of being survivors of sexual and relationship violence but also of being turned away or treated inappropriately by services for survivors. As GBTQ+ people, they recognized that the services for survivors of sexual and relationship violence were overwhelmingly set up to serve cisgender, heterosexual women, and too often failed to appropriately serve LGBTQ+ folks.

These survivors connected with local San Diego agencies and organizations, including Center for Community Solutions, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, and North County Lifeline, to begin the conversation about building a path forward to ensure better care for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and relationship violence.