LGBTQ+ Victim Advocacy Initiative at Eskenazi Health | 2022 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
In less than a year, the Gender Health Victim Advocates at Eskenazi Health have provided nearly 200 services to more than 131 transgender and non-binary victims of violence, abuse, and neglect. Eskenazi’s innovative approach to delivering services to LGBTQ+ patients through dedicated and specially trained advocates has improved both short- and long-term outcomes for these victims of violence, and demonstrated the clear need for victim advocates and life-saving services for the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ Victim Advocacy Initiative at Eskenazi Health received the Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services. Visit the OVC Gallery for more information about her work to support victims of crime.
KELLY O'SHAUGHNESSEY: The gender health program at Eskenazi is a multidisciplinary program that is designed to assist transgender and gender diverse patients.
JANINE FOGEL: We see a lot of patients who have been assaulted or victimized in some way.
KELLY O'SHAUGHNESSEY: The victim advocate initiative was started in effort to make sure that we were addressing a very important part of our patients' backgrounds.
REBECCA NAVARRO: We quickly realized that we were not prepared to adequately take care of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals.
AMANDA “MANDI” FEARS: A third of the trans people that have sought medical care have actually had a negative experience. Our trans population is a great population to look at to really create better victim services and advocacy all around.
PATIENT: Thank you so much. I'd love to hear more about what you have to offer and what you do.
REBECCA NAVARRO: Our gender health advocates identify within the population and really connect to our patients.
MERCEDES CAREY: Due to my own personal experiences, I just felt like I wanted to be a voice and a vessel for folks.
REBECCA NAVARRO: It allows patients, first of all, to feel more comfortable disclosing what's happened to them.
JANINE FOGEL: Having a victim advocate in our gender health program and also in the emergency room has been very helpful in allowing our patients to feel that they have support.
REBECCA NAVARRO: The wraparound services that we provide allows them the opportunity to understand what their victim rights are.
MERCEDES CAREY: It really puts them in the driver's seat for their own care. We're in the passenger seat and really letting them know these are your options.
MANDI FEARS: Just being that person who makes the experience a tiny bit better in a crisis situation, while I'm also preparing paperwork for a protective order.
If you can make your program or initiative effective for the populations with the most needs and the most complicated needs, it will automatically better serve everyone else.
Opinions or points of view expressed in these recordings represent those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. Any commercial products and manufacturers discussed in these recordings are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Justice.