Overview of LGBTQ Services
Sexual violence can occur throughout all communities. As such, LGBTQ communities can experience sexual violence in all its forms and are deserving of respectful and informed services. Our organization, SACT, is comprised of survivors from many communities, including the LGBTQ communities. SACT has worked closely with Safe Space, the anti-violence program at the Price Center of Vermont. SACT seeks, with open hearts and minds, to eliminate the additional barriers that can be faced by VT’s LGBTQ communities.
The Sexual Assault Crisis Team (SACT) works to eliminate these barriers both through non-discriminatory policies, comprehensive training on the needs of VT’s underserved communities, and via the services provided to all victims and survivors. SACT offers resources and shelter to all non-offending victims & survivors, as well as their non-offending family members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, and/or gender identity, age, skin color, spiritual beliefs, or class. The staff and Board of Directors at SACT feel very strongly about ensuring if we don’t know the answers to what you are struggling with, we will reach out to our VT partners, including the VT Pride Center, until we can offer you services, resources or information to assist you.
As Executive Director of SACT for over twenty years, I would like to explain why I feel so strongly that all non-offending human beings and their non-offending family members have access to services, can see themselves in our offices & shelter, and know they will be greeted with compassion, a listening ear and respect. As a First Nation Elder and healer, I understand what it is like to be invisible. As a survivor, I understand the struggle to be accepted, to be seen as a professional within this movement, to be seen as a parent, partner to my husband, or to have something of value to offer other victims and survivors. It is my privilege to offer a shelter which provides all non-offending sexual violence survivors a chance to rest, work towards healing, and move forward.
The guidelines of the shelter are about your goals not SACT’s. The shelter offers separate bedrooms which are never double booked, unless you have a non-offending friend, partner or family member you have chosen to stay with you. All bathrooms are singles use. All bedrooms and bathrooms lock from the inside so your privacy will be respected. The shelter’s downstairs section is fully ADA accessible. It is designed as efficiency living with a kitchen, bathroom with transfer bench, dining area, and connects to the shelter’s laundry room. This space is also furnished with a remote reclining chair and bed. This space is filled on a first come first served basis and is offered to Elders, folks with special needs, and LGBTQ victims and survivors to allow complete privacy.
As a First Nation Elder, to me, those who identify as being two spirited, or transgendered, are considered to be the most balanced spirits and are believed to be filled with wisdom. SACT staff is honored to share our space and hope you will share your wisdom with us. We will make mistakes in language or actions because we are human, but never because we don’t care. You are always welcome to share your ideas, support, and time walking beside us on the journey of survivors of sexual violence.