LGBTQ+ domestic violence support group arrives in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley are offering new services to the LGBTQ+ community.

They introduced their first ever Victims Advocate for the LGBTQ+ population. The lawyer will provide a range of services, including trauma-friendly court, community and personal advocacy, crisis intervention, and connecting resources.

YWCA also offers a support group for victims of domestic violence in the LGBTQ+ population, which will meet on Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Knox Pride Center on Chapman Highway.

“Our support group is different from regular domestic violence support groups because we will focus on both gender and domestic violence,” said Meredith Moss, YWCA LGBTQ+ Victim Advocate. “We wanted to create a safe and relaxed environment where people could come and be themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation and identity within the community.”

“For many years, YWCA has provided culturally specific victim advocacy services to our Latinx community, immigrant and refugee communities, and others,” said YWCA CEO Rachel Haverkamp. “We heard and responded to the need for LGBTQ+ services in our community and are proud to partner with Knox Pride and other community partners to deliver these services. As we celebrate Pride Month, we know that the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women is more relevant and urgent than ever.

The support group will last eight weeks and started on June 7. The program will cover trauma, safety, self-care, healthy relationships, mindfulness, stress, and more.

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley provides support and services to women and families in Knox, Anderson, Loudon and Roane counties. The organization focuses on victim advocacy services, violence prevention, education, transitional housing and youth development programs.

Virginia S. Braud