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Los Angeles, CA
US

424-777-EROC

End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a survivor advocacy organization dedicated to ending sexual violence through survivor support, public education, and policy and legislative reform.

We provide free, direct assistance to all survivors of gender-based and sexual violence on campus interested in filing federal complaints, organizing for change, or drawing public attention to hold their schools accountable.

We have assisted hundreds of students at dozens of schools file Title IXClery Act, and other civil rights complaints to seek justice and reform.

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EROC Blog

I realized I could not celebrate Father’s day. I had no ability to dance for him. I could not celebrate the countless fathers who have caused pain directly and indirectly to their children through sexual violence.

The Power of Collective Activism Through Social Media

Amanda Kauba-White

As the Digital Fellow for End Rape On Campus, I spend every day curating content to share on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts as well as creating original designs to spread awareness on the issues that we advocate for. There are pros and cons to social media activism. It allows an individual or organization to get people involved in a cause on a global scale, provides an accessible way to participate for those who are unable to participate in events or volunteer work and creates an open dialogue on the issues. On the other hand, this method of activism has received a lot of criticism for not having a substantial impact or oversimplifying complex issues.

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Supreme Court rules crisis pregnancy centers do not need to provide information about abortion services

End Rape On Campus

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) do not need to provide any information about abortion to those who are seeking health care services. Crisis pregnancy centers are faith-based, many of them renounce modern contraception methods, and they often employ deceptive strategies to prevent pregnant people from obtaining abortion.

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EROC Celebrates Black History Month 2018

End Rape On Campus

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It's Black History Month 2018!

We want to extend a warm welcome to everyone who has been following our Centering the Margins Initiative, hashtag, and social media campaign. We are proud to announce our first campaign of the year paying special tribute to people of the African Diaspora and their impact on the anti-violence field and social justice work nationwide.

To ensure that CTM is amplifying and centering the voices of marginalized communities throughout the year, we are using the heightened visibility that comes with Black History Month to celebrate and promote education of Black history, emphasizing historical Black activism within the U.S. Be sure to follow EROC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the month, as well as the CTM blog, where we'll be highlighting student activism and Black history, present, and future.

#BlackHistoryMonth
#BlackLivesMatter
#CenteringTheMargins

http://endrapeoncampus.org/centering-the-margins/

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Transgender Day of Remembrance

End Rape On Campus

Transgender Day of Remembrance is a day to mourn, honor, and celebrate the lives of transgender and gender expansive people who are no longer with us due to societal and state sanctioned violence. Today is also an opportunity to celebrate the living, and the contributions of transgender people to the socio-cultural fabric of U.S. society.

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Sofie’s passing the torch and is ready for the next fight

End Rape On Campus

Dear survivors, students, parents, and allies,

After almost five years, the time has come for me to move on from End Rape on Campus.

It’s been hard to encapsulate everything that's happened and what it's meant to me in words. To be honest, it hasn't hit me yet that I'm leaving. Holding schools accountable for sweeping sexual assault under the rug has defined each day of my life since I was 19.

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Rape culture is in our language

End Rape On Campus

Male is the norm
Hey guys
Hey man
Hey dude
Hey bro

What do we get?

Hey girls
Hey ladies
Hey bitches

Girls
Little
In need of another

Forced into childhood

Ladies
Proper
Polite

Expectations forced on us

Bitches
Little bitch: weak
Such a bitch: too strong, difficult, too outspoken

An inconvenience

Women hold, Men take up space
Physically, spatially, culturally, linguistically

And what of those who live outside men and women?
Invisible
No words

This is patriarchal
This is rape culture

I am not immune to these transgressions
I am only now becoming aware

Now I hear
‘hey guys’
I cringe
‘hey girls’
I cringe
I am not a guy, I am not a girl
I am a woman  

Jessica Bryn is a feminist and writer passionate about putting an end to sexual violence. She is interested in art as a means to resist oppression in its many forms. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicabrynx.

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#DearBetsy: Do the Rape Culture Math

End Rape On Campus

Dear Betsy,

On July 13th, 2017, you will be listening to survivors, advocates, students accused of sexual assault, and college administrators. Survivors and advocates are asking you and the Trump administration to maintain systems that support and protect survivors of sexual assault. On July 13th, 2017, I encourage you, Ms. DeVos, to ask yourself the following questions:

Have you ever walked into a room and run through sexual violence statistics in your head?

Have you ever counted the women in the room and thought to yourself that one in five of these women have been or will be sexually assaulted in college?

Have you ever counted the men in the room and thought to yourself that one in sixteen of these men have been or will be sexually assaulted in college?

Although these statistics serve to measure college sexual violence generally, have you ever thought about the individuals behind these numbers?

I, Samantha Carly Skaller, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Syracuse University and a three-time sexual assault survivor, am writing to you to humanize this issue and to beg you to stand with survivors and victims. Here is my story:

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was drugged and sexually assaulted by a senior in my driver’s ed class. After the assault, we were forced to sit next to each other in class, to share the same car, and even to give a class presentation together.

During my first semester of college, I was sexually assaulted while I was asleep by a friend who lived on my floor. After the assault, we were forced to live on the same floor, to share the same communal space, and even to walk at the same commencement ceremony this past May.

The weekend before my sophomore year classes started, I was raped in my own bed by the guy I had been dating. After the assault, we were forced to take the same classes, to attend the same music school, and even to perform in concerts together.

After a formal Title IX complaint through my university in reference to the last assault my rapist was found “not responsible” due to insufficient evidence. The system failed me: the system that you, Ms. DeVos, are now part of. On behalf of the countless survivors across this country, I implore you to make sure that no one else has to go through what I have gone through.

I, a survivor of college sexual assault, share my story with you, Ms. DeVos,  to teach you about rape culture math. I am the 20% of women who have been sexually assaulted in college. You, the United States Secretary of Education, have the responsibility of knowing these statistics. But beyond that, you have the responsibility of hearing the narratives behind these statistics and consequently taking action to improve and uphold the systems including all current Title IX guidance, policy, Violence Against Women Act funding and programs.

We need all of these systems to make sure that colleges and universities are giving equal treatment to all parties involved in Title IX cases, so that there is no racial, gender, or socioeconomic discrimination on our campuses. We need you to take action because 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted during college, because 8 out of 10 people know their attacker, because 91% of rapes are committed by serial perpetrators, and because one act of sexual violence is one too many.

I have dedicated my undergraduate career to ending interpersonal violence at Syracuse University and more broadly across our country. Survivors and allies on college campuses everywhere have taken the pledge to end this epidemic. We have built campaigns, rallies, art installations, blogs, protests, and more from the bottom up to gain your attention.

Ms. DeVos, we finally have your attention. On July 13th, 2017, it’s on you to assure survivors and victims of college sexual assault that you will uphold current Title IX policy and Violence Against Women Act funding and programs so that together, we can put an end to sexual violence on all campuses in the United States of America.

Samantha Skaller is a recent graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Viola Performance and Music History. In the fall she will be pursuing her master’s degree in musicology and women’s and genders studies at McGill University. For the past two years Samantha has worked with the national It’s On Us campaign. She was selected as one of seventeen students to serve on the first ever Student Advisory Committee. This past year she served as the Northeast Regional Advisor for the campaign. As a survivor Samantha tries to use her voice to uplift fellow survivors and encourage cultural change in her community. In her future she hopes to continue to combine her passions for activism and music while seeking justice for all survivors and victims of interpersonal violence.

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All Students Are Worth Protecting

End Rape On Campus

Over the last several years, survivors, activists, and allies have mobilized to advocate for protecting students’ civil rights and ending sexual violence in schools. By calling for action from our communities and representatives we were able to reform state laws, improve school responses to sexual assault, and ultimately made a major culture shift.

Before the new administration entered the White House, survivors were reasonably concerned about the cultural and legal implications of having an administration that has refused to commit to protecting survivors and a president accused of perpetrating sexual violence. Still, survivors refused to stand on the sidelines to wait and see what would happen next. Instead, we rallied and created the #DearBetsy campaign to ask the then-nominee for the US Department of Education Secretary to commit to upholding Title IX and its guidance.

Now, the Trump Administration has indicated mass rollbacks of vulnerable students’ civil rights protections. This began when the 2016 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) guidance, which protected transgender students, was rescinded in February. US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson want to continue this trend of revoking vulnerable students’ civil rights by rescinding the 2011 DCL. This directly undermines the tremendous progress we’ve made and ultimately harms survivors in our schools.

For decades, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) role has been to provide trauma-informed, evidence-based guidance in order to ensure discrimination-free education for all students. Rescinding existing guidance would be a direct threat to survivors’ civil rights and would counter its mission, “to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.”

Without guidance, survivors will lose services that help them stay in school after being assaulted. LGBTQ students, students of color, students with disabilities, and other marginalized students will be harmed the most if guidance is revoked. Additionally, rescinding 2011 DCL under the veil of protecting the rights of the accused is false and deeply misguided, as doing so will repeal protections for both parties, including accused students. All students are worth protecting and every student deserves to experience an education free of sexual violence. Rolling back guidance could give preference to accused students given at the expense of survivors’ rights.

We will not allow the Trump administration to continue hurting survivors of sexual violence. We ask Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson to commit to preserving current Title IX guidance, programs, and policies. We ask legislators to ensure that policy decisions are based on evidence and trauma-informed. We ask university officials to commit to maintaining trauma-informed best practices in schools. To survivors, activists, and allies, we believe you and support you. Survivors everywhere have refused to be silent since this administration began its journey to the White House. We refuse to back down now and we demand our voices be heard.

CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

You can reach Chardonnay at cmadkins@endrapeoncampus.org

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Ending 2017 Pride: A Resource List

End Rape On Campus

This year for Pride Month EROC led a campaign centering LGBTQ survivors in anti-sexual violence work. We are proud to have led a fundraiser that raised money for a local LGBTQ organization in D.C. For allies and activists, we created educational tools to inform them of the unique and specific challenges LGBTQ survivors face and guidelines to support them. Though EROC recognizes that much more work is required for equal LGBTQ rights year-round, we are happy to have an opportunity to uplift and center LGBTQ people during Pride. For our final blog we would like to provide LGBTQ survivors and students a short list of resources for anyone in need of assistance while on campus. Thank you to all our supporters, and we will continue to work towards an end to sexual violence on college campus for all students.

National Organizations

Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network

GSA Network is an LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that connects, trains, and offers legal resources to queer, trans, and allied youth leaders to advocate and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

A federation of Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations that hosts programs and campaigns, as well as provides resources in different languages and legal resources.

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

National organization that advocates, educates, and organizes for the LGBTQ Latinx community on the national and local levels.

DeafQueer

National non-profit resource and information center for the deaf queer community. Offers resources for allies and community members and provides information on scholarships, videos, news, and network between communities.

Campaign for Southern Equality

North Carolina based organization for the support of LGBTQ people in southern states through political action, education, and campaigns.

Get Equal

A coalition of community organizers who plan political actions and campaigns for equality for the queer and trans community.

National Black Justice Coalition

A civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. Works on different issues including creating safe and inclusive spaces to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) by bringing LGBTQ services, clubs, and programs to schools. Offers toolkits, community building strategies, and other resources for the Black LGBTQ community.

BinetUSA

Advocacy organization for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer-identified, and unlabeled people; promotes bisexual and bi-inclusive visibility. Provides information regarding sexual orientation, locating bi-specific local organizations throughout the US, and news for the bi community.

Bisexual Resource Center

Non-profit resource center for the bi community. Provides educational information, research, and other resources.

The Trevor Project

Offers crisis intervention and prevention suicide services to LGBTQ. Provides a support center and suicide hotline, suicide prevention training, and resources.

Local Organizations

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Offers programs and services to local LGBTQ youth including mental, medical, HIV-related, housing, and other social services.

Sadie Nash Leadership Project (Newark, NJ and New York City, NY)

Promotes leadership and activism among local young women by offering mentor programs.

The DC Center for the LGBT Community

The center educates and connects the local LGBTQ community. Services offered focuses on developing the health and wellness, arts & culture, social and peer support, and advocacy and community building within the DC LGBTQ community.

Casa Ruby (Washington, D.C.)

Offers culturally competent bilingual services and programs for trans, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and queer individuals. Provide emergency housing, legal, case management, support, and counseling services to the local community.

Trans and GNC Organizations

Trans Student Educational Resources

A youth-led grassroots organization which offers educational resources, workshops, and action strategies to advocate for safe schools for transgender students.

Audre Lorde Project

A grassroots organization that works to mobilize communities and allies into action around political issues that trans and gender non-conforming people of color encounter. The ALP also hosts educational community meetings, trainings, and actions in the New York City area seeking community wellness, social progression, and economic justice.

Legal Organizations

GLAD Law

Provides information on legal rights, case law, and a legal referral service by location.

Transgender Law Center

Provides trans and gender non-conforming people with legal information and connect them to culturally competent pro bono attorneys and legal service providers.

Transgender Legal

A nonprofit which aims to end discrimination and achieve equality for transgender people in education, employment, and provides legal defense assistance.

Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Provides legal resources for trans individuals such as passport name changes, educational rights brochures, and healthcare information. Hosts campaigns and trainings as well as offer legal referral assistance.

Publications and Other Support Groups

LGBTQ Students and College Affordability

The Affordability Center provides economic resources to LGBTQ students in college with guides to budget and manage financial expenses for community and four year colleges for undergraduate and graduate students.

Black Girl Dangerous

A reader funded, non profit online publication project which amplifies the voices of LGBTQ people of color. BDG also offers a free summer youth program to host workshops, creative projects, and discussions.

Documentaries

Free Cece

A story about the case, trial, and incarceration of trans activist, Cece McDonald, the prison industrial complex, and violence against trans people.

Major

Chronicles the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 75 year old Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

Passing (Trailer)

A documentary that examines the black trans male experience in North America today, through the eyes of 3 men who have undergone gender transition from female to male. 

Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (Youtube)

A feature-length documentary that focuses on the life and accomplishments of revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha P. Johnson.

Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen

A feature-length experimental documentary that explores the lives of six black transgender men living in the United States.

CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

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Anna’s this-isn’t-goodbye goodbye blog

End Rape On Campus

Every time I sit down to write my “goodbye” blog I simply can’t do it. So, I’ve decided that it isn’t really goodbye, but rather, I’ll see you on the other side, EROC. After almost three years, though bittersweet, I’m ready to announce that I will be stepping down as Managing Director, and the wonderful Jess Davidson will be succeeding me. I’m honored to continue my commitment at EROC on the Board of Directors while I attend law school and hopefully beyond.

It is difficult to put into words what EROC has meant to me personally and professionally — but I’ll try.

EROC means trust.

I am eternally grateful to Andrea Pino for responding to my volunteer request email way back when. I learned more from her in our first two hour phone call in October 2014 than I could wrap my head around at the time. Afterwards, I looked at my partner, Shane, who had been silently and patiently cooking in our studio apartment, trying not to disturb my call (a talent he has now perfected), and said, “I think this is going to be big.” Andrea introduced me to Annie Clark and Sofie Karasek, two other EROC co-founders, and it moved quickly from there. 

Andrea, Annie, and Sofie trusted me with the reins quickly. They believed in me before I believed in myself. I remember an evening following one overwhelming meeting in New York City, where I felt so wildly in over my head, and I broke down into tears with a friend. They asked me if I believed in my team, and I said that of course I did, they said, “then let them trust you.”

EROC means joy.

There’s something magical about young women on a mission. No matter what was thrown at us — a nasty on-air exchange, terrifying and aggressive online harassment, a mean e-mail, a desperate survivor, or a grieving parent — we refused to quit. With heads held high, we were always ready to throw our hair up into a messy-but-chic bun, put mascara on at red lights, and continue on. Our work is hard, it is grueling, and it is exhausting, but there’s nothing like it when we all get together.

We didn’t have offices in EROC’s first year, so we all worked from our respective homes (and anywhere with free wifi when we were on the road). After Annie and Andrea moved to Washington, D.C., we would often descend on their two-bedroom home for a week of intensive meetings. We’d talk late into the night — not just about work, but about who we were, what we wanted for ourselves, for our future, for the future of our world. We used to laugh about what a donor would think of us as we sat there braiding each other’s hair and drinking wine (seriously, we did that). Those late nights where we’d dissolve into laughter were filled with magic, with life, with joy.

EROC means belief.

I didn’t know how many survivors were really out there until I started working at EROC. More often than not when I met someone new and told them that “I work with survivors of campus sexual assault,” their faces would change, and they would ask me to go to the bathroom with them or pull me into a quiet corner. It would pour out: you’re the first person I’ve ever told; my mom told me it was my fault for drinking so much; what did I do wrong?; do you think anyone will ever love me?; I’m sorry to bother you with this

To all the survivors out there who confided in a stranger: thank you for trusting me. I hold your story close, and no matter what, there’s someone out there who believes you.

To all the survivors, parents, guardians, siblings, and supporters out there whose lives I’ve intersected with during one of your most painful trials: I will always be here to shoulder some of the weight of your pain, and I hope that helps. Thank you for letting me in and for trusting EROC’s process, I hope we did right by you.

To all the survivors who lack a support network: we are here for you. We love you, we value you, and we will stand strong for you always.

EROC means pride.

I’m a young woman just under five feet tall (on a good day) and I can look anywhere between twenty and thirty — so it will come to no one’s surprise that I’m often overlooked, and so are my colleagues. The feeling we share when we take a deep breath before a meeting with a legislator who we know wants to gut protections for survivors, or before a donor meeting that we’re not sure is going to go well, or before stepping on stage before ten people or ten thousand people is brief but important. We manifest our pride: we remember who we are working for, and who relies on us.

I refuse to be modest when talking about EROC. When I began, we were four young women, nearly all a few years out of college (well, Sofie was actually still in college), and we were determined. Our work began as a scrappy group of 20-somethings building a grassroots movement, and now, three years later, EROC is continuing to support survivors and activists on the ground and have raised over a million dollars to date. We have remained dynamic in the face of a rapidly changing landscape and are staying true to our roots. I am so, so honored to have played a small role in the movement to end rape on college campuses.

_______________________________

I decided it was time to go to law school in the middle of a client meeting over a year ago. Annie and I were in a southern state, sitting by a lake with a grieving father whose daughter, a survivor, had taken her own life just ten days prior. We could help with media exposure, with a Title IX complaint, with support, but we couldn’t represent him in court. I’m going to law school for his daughter, for the life she should have lived, and for the justice she deserves.

I am so grateful to so many people. Thank you to my parents who have been supportive since day one, to my friends and family for being understanding when I missed birthdays, lunch dates, and happy hours, and to those around the country who freed up a couch, floor, or bed for me: all of us at EROC are so appreciative. Of course, thank you Shane, as ever.

The colleagues I have had at EROC are unparalleled. Annie, Andrea, Sofie, Colleen, Chardonnay, Jess, and our many wonderful fellows — thank you for putting up with my micro-managing, reminding me that I am, in fact, absolutely not “chill,” indulging me in my em-dash obsession, and above all, making my job easy and fun. Most importantly, Annie, Andrea, and Sofie — thank you for believing in me when I didn’t.

I’m proud to leave EROC with the absolute certainty that we’ll be around as long as we are needed, though I hope that is not much longer.

Very sincerely,
Anna

Managing Director, 2015 - 2017
Board of Directors, 2017 - present

You can reach Anna at her EROC email, at avoremberg@endrapeoncampus.org for the near future or follow her on Twitter at @annasylvie for tweets about goats, politics, and her perfect terrier mutt, Marble. 

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Why Do We Need Exclusive Spaces Within Pride?

End Rape On Campus

On college campuses within clubs or communities geared towards marginalized folks, you shouldn’t be surprised to come across an event or group with the attached label: “Closed Space.” What this means is that the particular space you are soliciting is exclusive, or “closed” to only those who identify within the space’s parameters: for example, a Black Student Union event being a closed space only for Black folks, or a Queer party closed to only members of the LGBTQ community. What many people misinterpret as “reverse discrimination” is actually an attempt at legitimately securing a place of sanctuary. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all the other “isms” are deeply ingrained into the majority of where folks occupy space daily: the office, the bathroom, the grocery store, on TV, etc. Closed spaces allow for marginalized and disenfranchised communities to find each other, create a space where they are represented and understood, and where the daily “isms” of the outside won’t touch them.

Pride festivals operate along the same logic. Why do we have Pride? Yes, it is to commemorate and make visible the fight for the LGBTQ civil rights movement, but it is also a chance for the community to gather and hold space for our Queerness itself without the “isms” suffocating us. If you’re an ally, remember this when you decide to join the party or visit a gay club on the weekends. Remember that essentially this whole world is catered to you, whereas our community holes up in a handful of clubs and once-a-month parties. We barely have space, so be mindful when you decide to take up ours.

But allies aren’t the only threat to sanctuary during Pride. Within the Queer community itself, the “isms” still manage to create hierarchies and breed unsafety — which is why the existence of separate events that are even further specific than just “LGBT” are organized and held during Pride festivals and throughout rest of the year. These are mainly catered towards queer women, trans and non-binary folks, and women of color/people of color (POC). Because LGBTQ spaces are dominated by gay men and by white, cisgender folks in general, these three marginalized groups within the queer community are forced to create their own spaces not only to be visible to the rest of the community and the world as a valid group of people with their own strength and number, but also to ensure that there is indeed a space for them at all to exist and seek sanctuary and pride.

These events are very city-specific, and vary in difficulty to find. In larger cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, some of the more well-known events are the Trans March and the Dyke March. In San Francisco, the motorcycle group Dykes on Bikes has been a part of the the parade for more than 40 years. And in LA, certain nights are dedicated specifically to women and trans folks to allow for safer places for them to party, like the aptly named “Women’s Party” and “Trans Party” this year. Additionally, Black Gay Pride marches are events are scattered all over the nation. Last year, Chicago had a whole weekend devoted to Black Gay Pride, but the largest celebrations are in Washington, D.C., LA, and Atlanta.

Unlike LA, some Pride programming isn’t often officially allotted for marginalized groups. To find the niche spots, you’ll have to research your local groups, queer dance party organizations, and queer party promoters. Privately organized queer dance parties are the most regularly scheduled and dependable spaces for marginalized queers. Dance parties that aren’t held in main gay clubs are usually monthly. Even in San Francisco, one of the gayest cities in the world, there are only one or two specifically lesbian clubs. This is why most of the private dance parties are once-a-month nights for women or women of color. Even though trans and non-binary folks rarely have their own spaces, they are usually always welcomed at closed spaces for queer women.

Monthly dance parties in the Bay Area like Ships In the Night, Darling Nikki, and Mango, a day party specific to queer people of color (QPOC), are havens for queer women left out and pushed out by the mainstream gay scene. This year, multiple queer dance party organizations are partnering to put on a private party during SF Pride called Sissy Darlings In the Night. Similarly, Miami’s South Beach has its own party tradition for Black women called SweetHeat Miami. SweetHeat Miami was created in 2008 specifically counter the white, techno/house gay culture, and centralize Black queer women and hip hop/Latin music.

These versions of closed spaces outside of college campuses are the only things we have to ensure our safety as queers occupying intersectional marginalized identities. It helps foster safe spaces that bring together sensitivity, understanding, and awareness to those in attendance. This is important because even within our own closed spaces for queer folks, there can be transphobic, racist, and misogynistic threats. It is well known that in dominantly gay male spaces, gay men often grope and assault women as a “compliment.” They view their assault as the exception: “It doesn’t count because I’m gay.” Additionally, much of the white gay and lesbian population say transphobic comments, still don’t recognize non-binary folks, and are not culturally sensitive, which reproduces toxic environments for those who need safe spaces the most. Muslim LGBTQ, QPOC, and undocumented LGBTQ folks find it infinitely more difficult to find a space that respects both their queerness and their other identities. With that in mind, specific parties within the community are essential in supporting marginalized LGBTQ folks. Organizing separate events, official or additional programming, and parties assists us in our inter-community struggles to remain seen, validated, and centralize our own voices and existence.  

TERRAN PIEROLA (pronouns they/them) is genderfluid, mixed race, queer boi. As a writer, editor, and a passionate activist for intersectional womxn of color feminism, Terran intends to help change the world through community building and institutionalizing inclusivity. Their interests and experience focus on creating supportive and educational resources for gender non-conforming, trans, and queer folks; queer fashion & film; and advocating for critical pedagogy in mainstream spaces. They graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English, and currently live in Los Angeles.

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The Importance of Safe, Inclusive Spaces

End Rape On Campus

To Allies of the LGBTQ Community,

As we acknowledge LGBTQ history and the Pulse shooting last year, we must reflect on our commitment to bettering LGBTQ lives and actively show our solidarity for equality. We must evaluate the current climate during this time of remembrance and reflection. Last week, we witnessed marginalized queer and trans people of color block the DC Capital Pride parade, after which we would be remiss if we didn’t ask ourselves, who is Pride serving and how can we be more inclusive? As allies, it is our responsibility to  ensure all LGBTQ individuals are given a safe space in which they are free to exist and be themselves, especially during Pride. As we take the tragedy that happened at Pulse and the importance of the #NoJusticeNoPeace rally into consideration, we bear witness to an outcry for all LGBTQ people to have safe, inclusive spaces. In respect to this call to action, EROC wants to stress the importance of inclusiveness of these disenfranchised communities. Bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, and asexual individuals are often erased and forced into the margins within the LGBTQ community. These actions contribute to real violence and threats to the community’s safety, and result in events such as at Pulse or the Stonewall Inn. During this year’s Pride it is important that we recognize the unique challenges these marginalized communities face, and offer representation, safe havens, resources, and care specific to their particular needs as service providers, Pride-goers, and organizers.

The needs of marginalized groups such as the transgender community are often diminished, or erased, and often go unaddressed. The community is particularly vulnerable because trans people, especially transgender women of color, experience exceptionally high rates of discrimination and violence. In fact, trans women of color make up one of the most vulnerable populations, with a life expectancy of just 35 years. Even considering the mystery behind Marsha P. Johnson’s death and the murder of the tenth transgender person of color this year,it appears that some progress has been made since Stonewall in 1969. However, we still have so much further to go. Community organizers  should consider creating events and programs specifically to support and welcome this community. Pride should be a safe space for all LGBTQ individuals, but recent sponsorship of the very law enforcement that caused the Stonewall Riots are given more space than the marginalized LGBTQ youth who have historically led this movement.

Additionally, bisexual people’s experiences are consistently erased from LGBTQ-specific narratives, events, and resources as well. This is largely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of sexual fluidity, resulting in less inclusion to meet the particular needs of these communities. That being said, Pride is one of the best months to learn from the outpour of information that floods the internet. Use the month to learn about different LGBTQ experiences so that we can seek justice and equality for everyone. Seek out opportunities — not just during Pride Month, but throughout the year — to include marginalized communities and create inclusionary events and programs. Whether in education or in campus safety we must address the specific needs of everyone within the LGBTQ community — centering the most disenfranchised.

So take this energy and motivation from Pride Month into other areas in your life to push for inclusiveness and equality. Use your voice and vote to prevent physical and legislative targeted attacks against the LGBTQ community. Further, learn from LGBTQ folks and organizations. This Pride, EROC’s mission is to educate students of their rights and provide information for the survivors who often fall between the cracks. As we have learned from previous Pride Month blogs about LGBTQ history and the barriers survivors face in reporting and receiving assistance, it’s important to include and uplift these communities in our advocacy work.  

Toronto Pride last year set a prime example of solidarity and how to take meaningful steps towards collaboration with marginalized groups. By meeting with local queer Black Lives Matter activists and listening to their demands, Toronto learned how to create a safe Pride for everyone. It is our responsibility and duty as advocates for all survivors of sexual violence to continue progressing in the same fashion. 

In Solidarity,

Chardonnay Madkins

CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

You can reach Chardonnay at cmadkins@endrapeoncampus.org

Respecting Pride: A Guide for Allies

End Rape On Campus

Happy Pride Month, friends of EROC! June marks a whirlwind of celebration and resistance for the LGBTQ community, who continue to fight so fiercely for basic human rights and respect. Pride is often characterized by all things flamboyant and colorful — rainbow flags, parades, glittery bead garlands. But as queer, transgender and non-binary people know, Pride is about so much more than just the festivities. It symbolizes triumph over persecution. It brings people together in the name of love and acceptance. It also serves as a reminder of how much progress still needs to be made.

So when cisgender heterosexual (cishet) allies with no deep connection to the struggles that LGBTQ people face take part in Pride-related activities, they may be co-opting the occasion for their own pleasure, no matter how well-meaning they may be. Allies, you will be welcome at most events during Pride, but you must accept that this celebration is not meant for you. If you really want to support your LGBTQ friends, family, and neighbors, step back and reflect on your contributions to Pride. Are you being helpful or harmful? Are you allowing people space or taking it away? If you have no idea where you stand, consider whether you do the following:

Educate yourself.

Before you step foot in a Pride event, do some research to understand the historical context behind the occasion, as well as the ways that LGBTQ people are forced to combat oppression to this day. With a better understanding of what Pride means to LGBTQ folks, you’ll have more respect for all that it embodies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but also be cognizant of the emotional labor that LGBTQ folks must carry out to teach you (and compensate them for their time if necessary). Take the initiative to look up blogs and social media created by LGBTQ people and share their content across your own networks.

Know when you’re taking up too much physical space.

During Pride in many cities, LGBTQ-friendly bars, restaurants, clubs, and other venues are overrun with revelers. Establishments that have historically catered to an LGBTQ clientele should be serving these folks, who may be seeking a safe place to let loose and enjoy themselves. For LGBTQ people, simply existing can be met with violence, making safe spaces for people to dance with their partners or catch up with their friends all the more important — This definitely isn’t the time to bring your cishet bachelor/bachelorette party crew to a gay bar. And if you find yourself dancing in a club that has a long line of LGBTQ folks trying to get in, it might be time to go elsewhere. Be mindful of the space that you inhabit and gracefully bow out when you have taken up too much.

Open your wallet.

What’s one of the best ways to show your appreciation for all that Pride represents? Money. Sure, you can talk about how much Pride means to you, but when it comes down to demonstrating that you care about the people whose celebration you are enjoying, your money sends a strong message. Provide generous tips to bartenders and servers at LGBTQ establishments. Tip the performers at drag shows and other entertainers. Don’t forget to ask your LGBTQ friends about local charities that need your financial support. LGBTQ-serving homeless shelters, community centers, and other safe spaces will benefit substantially from your contributions. Many LGBTQ youth in particular face poverty because they are subject to discrimination from their families or employers, so donating to organizations that serve them can make a big difference.

Know the difference between being an ally and an expert.

You probably wouldn’t be at Pride if you didn’t have some affinity for the LGBTQ community. Perhaps you took a queer history course in college or you were involved in your high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. That’s wonderful! But unless you’re a queer or trans person yourself, you are not the go-to source of information on all things LGBTQ. Acknowledge when you have inadvertently dominated the conversation and be open to criticism when you slip up. A good ally doesn’t get defensive when they have stepped out of bounds; they are grateful for the opportunity to learn and improve.

Practice good judgment in photography.

Certain Pride-goers, like dancers in a parade or performers at a drag show, are usually fine being photographed. Some people may even want to be tagged in social media to promote their business or organization. But random people simply enjoying themselves? Probably not. Just because people are out in the open doesn’t mean that they want to be featured on your Instagram account under the gauze of a rainbow filter. For many folks, attending Pride events is an act of resistance, and may be part of their coming-out process. You could even be outing someone by taking their picture at a Pride event, jeopardizing their privacy and possibly their safety. When in doubt, stick to selfies with your friends and other people who have clearly consented to being photographed.

Don’t make assumptions.

When you meet someone new, be careful not to make assumptions about their gender identity or sexuality. Remember that it’s impossible to know these things judging by someone’s partner, appearance, or demeanor. Pronouns, whether he, she, they, or ze, are important to respect. If you’re not sure about someone’s pronouns, use gender-neutral terms such as “they” when speaking about someone. When you do meet that person, ask what pronouns they use and offer your own. Always use the pronouns that someone gives you. If you make a mistake, simply apologize and correct yourself.

Keep exclusive spaces exclusive.

As Pride becomes increasingly commercialized and whitewashed, the narratives of people of color and trans folks are often pushed to the side, prompting a greater need for exclusive spaces. This could mean a support group for trans women of color (WOC) survivors, or an organized outing for gay Black men. Don’t be offended if you aren’t welcome at events exclusive to certain groups within the LGBTQ community; these spaces are made to ensure people’s safety and comfort, which will always come before the feelings of cishet allies. Plus, there are plenty of other ways that you can participate in Pride activities. See what volunteer opportunities are available, such as passing out literature for local LGBTQ organizations or cleaning up after events.  

Respect people’s boundaries.

Pride, like all other times of the year, should be a safe experience for everyone. It should go without saying, but never touch someone without their consent. If someone doesn’t want to dance with you or chat with you, move along. If you are taking up space that doesn’t belong to you or making people uncomfortable, you need to leave. The bottom line is that someone’s gender identity, sexuality, or appearance is in no way an invitation for harassment. Period.

Be an ally all year long, not just at parades and festivals.

Pride isn’t a one-and-done event. Too many people who call themselves allies use Pride as an excuse to throw on some glitter and party, then pack up the rainbow attire once July 1 rolls around. Don’t be that person. Continue to better yourself, learning what it means to be a good ally. Keep in mind that these guidelines aren’t just for Pride. Throughout the year, you should be working to ensure the safety of LGBTQ folks, whether at work, school, in a health care setting, or walking down the street. Pride is just one opportunity to express solidarity with the LGBTQ community; don’t make it your last.

JULIA HASKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a writer, editor, and reporter dedicated to stamping out sexual assault and shedding light on rape culture. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University, Julia has used her journalism background to inform readers about the issues most important to her. She is especially passionate about media related to health and feminism. Julia's writing has appeared in outlets such as ReadersDigest.com, People.com, Healthline, Parents.com, and more. 

You can reach Julia at jhaskins@endrapeoncampus.org.

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Barriers to Assistance for LGBTQ Survivors

End Rape On Campus

Derived from the protests in New York City’s West Village, LGBTQ Pride was born out of resistance, civil disobedience, and addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth. Originally led by trans women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the Pride movement has become more mainstream, and ironically, less space has been given to the exact disenfranchised LGBTQ communities who began it and who need it the most. Certain types of experiences have begun to dominate the conversation surrounding Pride and homophobia in the U.S. while many marginalized narratives are erased. This leaves vulnerable people within the LGBTQ community to contend with increased levels of violence and a lack of support.

By acknowledging the particular barriers LGBTQ individuals experience, and centering those who are the most disenfranchised in this community, service providers can develop a comprehensive support system for all LGBTQ survivors on campus.  It is imperative that those who assist survivors understand how sexual orientation, race, gender expression, ability, and income impact survivors of sexual violence. We must aim to diminish those barriers to provide comprehensive care.

It is important that as we reflect on the origins of Pride, its importance, and building community and networks of support, that as advocates, activists, and allies, we ensure that we are inclusive of all survivors, and all LGBTQ survivors in particular. In order to provide culturally competent services to LGBTQ survivors, we consider the challenges that the most disenfranchised face as barriers to seeking assistance and support, from individuals in their community to institutions such as schools, the labor force, and the criminal justice system.

Stereotypes and Myths About the LGBTQ Community

Negative stereotypes and homophobic beliefs about the LGBTQ community influence many first responders’ reactions to sexual violence against LGBTQ students. Rape myths about LGBTQ people include erasure of same-sex sexual assault, especially violence perpetrated by women against women, and sexual violence against transgender people. Another myth involves transphobic rhetoric suggesting that trans students wanting to use the restroom according of their choice are predators. These beliefs ultimately limit an LGBTQ survivor’s ability to receive support and assistance from their community, administrators, and advocates.

Confidentiality: Risk of Being Outed

Being outed is one of the leading concerns LGBTQ survivors have when seeking assistance after an assault and when reporting. Outing someone could have an immense hardship on an LGBTQ person’s life. They risk facing discrimination that could have a negative impact on their lives. For some disenfranchised LGBTQ youth, being outed in certain communities could cause a person to lose their support system and force them into homelessness. Others could potentially lose their job, or face further violence and harm. Outing someone without their consent is a serious offense. This is why confidential reporting options and resources provided on campuses are beneficial for LGBTQ survivors.

Financial Burden/Large Financial Costs

For many LGBTQ youth, especially LGBTQ youth of color, poverty is an issue. The Huffington Post reported that in a study  21 percent of LGBT employees had claimed to have been discriminated against in hiring, promotions and pay. In the workplace, LGBTQ employees have limited legal protection and experience discrimination in hiring and promotions, feeling unwelcome in a hostile environment where they may feel pressured into be closeted. Lesbian women,  trans folks, and LGBTQ undocumented workers experience higher levels of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Employment is fundamental in a person’s ability to provide for themselves and their families, systemically discriminating against LGBTQ people in employment funnels the most vulnerable of this community into low-income and less access to resources. Colleges and universities, therefore, should offer students emergency funds and survivor assistance funds to cover the financial burden for those who may have additional after an assault.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement, for decades, has been a violent institution that discriminates against LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ people of color. However, many advocates and schools do not acknowledge the systemic problems the police create for marginalized communities; and provide limited and ineffective resources to marginalized survivors. For many LGBTQ survivors, interaction with the police when reporting increases violence and harassment. Trans people in particular face exacerbated difficulty involving law enforcement due to dangerous transphobic beliefs officers may hold. Schools should require campus police to undergo LGBTQ and intersectionality sensitivity training, as well as offer various types of resources outside law enforcement for students.

Healthcare

For LGBTQ people, comprehensive healthcare is difficult to access. For survivors, comprehensive emergency medical care is scarce. To improve medical care for LGBTQ survivors, schools should offer sexual assault exams inclusive of collection exams of male survivors, offering PrEP, integrating LGBTQ specific healthcare into routine medical services, and requiring LGBTQ sensitive training for medical professionals in a university’s health clinic.

Shame and Fear of Isolation

Lastly, similar to many marginalized communities, the LGBTQ community is a close knit population that supports one another. However, in certain circumstances when both the perpetrator and survivor are members of the LGBTQ community, it may be more difficult for the survivor to name their assailant due to fear of being ostracized from the group. In many instances, survivors are not believed when they come forward, and this occurs within different social groups and the LGBTQ community is no different. For LGBTQ survivors this is particularly harmful, especially if they do not have additional outside support because of their identity as LGBTQ. A survivor after coming forward could face homelessness, poverty, and not have a sense of belonging or community support — which could exacerbate or lead to developing mental health issues. For schools, it is important that they offer LGBTQ specific resources for survivors to feel more comfortable coming forward rather than feeling forced into silence.

Solutions and Resources

Ultimately, these barriers to seeking support deny LGBTQ students an equal opportunity to educational programs — a right guaranteed by Title IX. When LGBTQ students do not have access to comprehensive care in the aftermath of an assault, the results could have a greater negative impact on their lives. LGBTQ students are likely to have a decrease in academic performance and to drop out. A community that has disproportionately high rates of poverty and is more likely to struggle with rape related financial burdens  — not earning a degree could potentially have harsher repercussions on LGBTQ students. Therefore, developing comprehensive and coordinated care for LGBTQ survivors is a necessity for schools. Colleges should consider offering more confidential and anonymous reporting options for LGBTQ survivors afraid of being outed, reserving a portion of school funds as a survivor’s assistance fund or emergency fund, curating a list of LGBTQ organizations as resources for survivors, and taking comprehensive steps to have a better medical response for LGBTQ survivors. This year for Pride Month we urge that schools, activists, and allies take meaningful steps towards addressing issues LGBTQ survivors face on campus in hopes to alleviate these hardships and ensure that everyone can have a positive educational experience.

CHARDONNAY MADKINS is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

You can reach Chardonnay at cmadkins@endrapeoncampus.org

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