Bulletins

Bulletins

Bulletins

​BRAVO statement on white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA

Aaron Eckhardt - Sunday, August 13, 2017


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BRAVO Media contact: Aaron Eckhardt, Associate Director
(614) 294-7867 | aaron@bravo-ohio.org


We at BRAVO are outraged and brokenhearted over the white supremacist rally and violence that took place yesterday in Charlottesville, VA.

From Compton to Selma, from the Stonewall Riot to Trayvon Martin, from Eric Garner, to the continuing murders of black transwomen, from #BlackLivesMatter to Pulse Night Club, this racist, sexist, islamophobic, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, and anti-LGBTQI hatred and violence is deeply and systemically rooted in our country. White supremacy and hate/bias violence is not new, although we are living in a time where these forms of violence are seemingly on the rise. We recognize that people of color, especially transwomen of color are most impacted by violence in our own LGBTQI community as well.

In 2017 alone, which is already the deadliest year without a mass shooting within our LGBTQI communities, we have seen 42 murders 17 or 40% are transwomen of color and 26 or 61% are people of color. We will not, and cannot separate the violence and murder of LGBTQI people of color from the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA. When one of us is hurt… when one of us is harmed we all are harmed.

We stand in opposition to all forms of oppression and violence, hate violence, interpersonal violence, and targeted state violence. These manifestations of oppression and violence strike at the very core values of anti-violence and anti-oppression which is at the center of the BRAVO mission. We will not be silent in the shadows as our black and brown siblings are slain. We implore and call to action all LGBTQI and allied organizations to join in solidarity with communities of color.

We must embrace not erase identity! So, we rise again. We rise still. We rise for our ancestors, and for all who can no longer rise. We will rise until hate has no home in Ohio, until hate has no home anywhere.

BRAVO Statement on #BlackPride4

Aaron Eckhardt - Monday, June 19, 2017

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2017

Contact: Gloria McCauley 614-294-7867

Columbus: BRAVO fully embraces the reality that racism, genderism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, classism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, and all other forms of oppression are intrinsically linked. When one of us is hurt… when one of us is harmed we all are harmed. We stand with our community, our entire communities in opposition to all forms of oppression and violence, hate violence, interpersonal violence, and state violence. PRIDE is a March; a movement born of a resistance to state violence against our communities. We join others in our community calling for justice for the Black Pride 4. We call for hard conversations, we welcome uncomfortable conversations and creating safe spaces for those conversations. We pledge to continue the hard work of coming together to seek unity, equality, and safety for all.

Community Alert - We are Stronger Than Hate

Aaron Eckhardt - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

BRAVO is issuing the following alert for the safety of the LGBTQI Communities of Central Ohio

February 28, 2017

We Are Stronger Than Hate

The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) would like to encourage the LGBTQI community to be extra aware of their surroundings over the first week of March.

Whenever there is a large influx of people visiting our city for various events, as is the case when any large event comes to the Greater Columbus Convention Center, there is also an increased possibility of violence. It remains important that we not associate violence with any one event; however, it has been reported multiple times by media and law enforcement that there seems to be an increase in human trafficking and associated violence during the Arnold Classic, which is one of the largest events in the Midwest. There will be a lot of new faces in the crowd, especially in the downtown and Short North areas. The vast majority of people are here to have a good time in our great city and enjoy the hospitality Columbus has to offer; nonetheless, there may be people looking to do harm as well.

Read the full text of the BRAVO Media Release here

 

Ohio Connection

Aaron Eckhardt - Monday, February 27, 2017

 

BRAVO staff recently had the opportunity to visit The Cocoon, an agency and shelter serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence here in Ohio. We made the trip to connect and train a new volunteer who, as it turns out, became the first ever satellite HelpLine team member! We were welcomed by staff members and the Executive Director, Michelle Clossick, and were provided with a complete overview of The Cocoon’s expansions, new building space, and heard first hand of The Cocoon’s commitment to creating a space for survivors that is inclusive to all gender identities.

The Cocoon lives in Wood County, in the northwest corner of the state. They share the neighborhood with Bowling Green State University and are surrounded by the corn and soy bean fields that moat most of our prominent cities and metropolitan centers. In addition to a 24-hour crisis hotline, The Cocoon offers advocacy, support, and emergency safe housing for survivors. They are currently in the process of expanding into a new space, and it incidentally brought to mind an actual cocoon. The building is discreet from an onlooker’s perspective but inside there is powerful energy, intention, and a strong team of voices united behind the cause of empowering those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.

BRAVO serves all of Ohio and in doing this have the privilege of staying connected and working alongside agencies, like The Cocoon, who are fiercely serving their communities in remarkable ways. Reaching out to connect with agencies who serve minority communities, communities of color, and LGBTQ agencies can be a great way to get connected. As the political climate continues to shift, support for these populations becomes as important as ever.

If you’d like to learn more about opportunities to volunteer here at BRAVO, email Will Varnum or call our local number during office hours: (614) 294-7867.

Take good care,

Will Varnum

 

 

 

BRAVO mourns the loss of JoJo Striker in Toledo, Ohio

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, February 16, 2017

BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization) responds to the homicide of JoJo Striker, a 23-year-old transgender woman of color killed in Toledo, Ohio on February 8, 2017.

 

Reports indicate that JoJo was found dead in north Toledo. BRAVO is working with Toledo area organizations and individuals throughout Ohio to offer our assistance in supporting JoJo’s family, friends, and community during this difficult time.

According to media sources, Toledo Police have not released information about the motivation or identified a suspect at this time. At BRAVO we know then even when no motive is yet known, given the ongoing prevalence of violence faced by transgender/gender non-conforming people here in Ohio and nationwide, the possibility of hate motivation regarding her gender identity must always be considered.

Read the full text of the BRAVO Media Release here

 

 

COMMUNITY ALERT

Aaron Eckhardt - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

BRAVO is issuing the following alert for the safety of the LGBTQI  Communities of Ohio


February 1, 2017

In the past week BRAVO has been made aware directly and via social media of recent reports of hate/bias violence and harassment of LGBTQI individuals.Some of the known incidents occurred in the local area of the Short North in Columbus, OH. There is a heightened sense of fear and seeming increase in these types of incidents in the past few weeks. BRAVO is here to help. It is never your fault if someone chooses to cause harm.

As we continue to look toward tomorrow and beyond, we know we are all individually part of something much larger than ourselves. We must continue to illuminate oppression, hatred, and violence in all its forms. We are not alone. Remaining steadfast in solidarity with one another, we draw upon these connections for hope and action. We will work tirelessly, continuously moving ourselves into the fight for justice and acceptance everywhere. In the past weeks, we continue to be tested, as we have been so many countless times before, and just as many of us feel drained, tired, and overwhelmed, may we all find that our capacity to love and to care for each other may continue to grow.

Don't Take It… Report It! has been a mantra for all 20 years BRAVO has been working to provide life-saving and affirming services to LGBTQI survivors of violence across the state of Ohio. We are asking for your assistance. If you have been the victim of, or are aware of, hate/bias and/or harassment incidents please contact BRAVO at 614-294-7867 or 1-866-86-BRAVO. We can provide advocacy and crisis support services when needed and wanted. We are also keeping track of such incidents so we can continue to provide services and response when needs arise. These reports help BRAVO and help our collective communities.

If you or anyone you know have experienced violence, contact BRAVO - we can help! 614-294-7867 or 866-86-BRAVO.

All reports to BRAVO are confidential and may be made anonymously. All BRAVO services are free.

* STAY ALERT * TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS * BE AWARE *

Don’t Take It… Report It!


BRAVO works to eliminate violence perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identification, domestic violence and sexual assault through prevention, education, advocacy, violence documentation and survivor services, both within and on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities.

BRAVO is a proud founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)

 

Dear Friend of BRAVO, as we look toward tomorrow and beyond it is vital to support our LGBTQI communities and survivors of violence

Aaron Eckhardt - Friday, December 16, 2016

Dear Friend of BRAVO,

BRAVO remains steadfast in bringing life-saving and critical services statewide to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex (LGBTQI) survivors of violence and our communities, regularly traveling to all areas of the state as needs arise. In a time where we are experiencing an escalation of anti-LGBTQI hate and bias violence, it is vital to support our communities and survivors of violence.

We provide free direct services and support to victims throughout Ohio. No matter the need: crisis intervention, police liaison assistance, courtroom/legal advocacy, medical advocacy, support groups, street safety, self-defense, and violence documentation, BRAVO has our state covered.

 

BRAVO also works to increase the capacity of mainstream organizations to respond appropriately to LGBTQI violence by providing trainings to service providers, law enforcement and court personnel. In addition to providing the above services, BRAVO works continuously with local communities, businesses, and service providers on LGBTQI violence prevention.

In the past year BRAVO, has been busy all over Ohio providing lifesaving and life affirming services and support:

 

  • Trained 90 Columbus Police Cadets
  • Trained 200 Police Officers and Sheriff Deputies throughout Ohio
  • Hosted two LGBTQI Youth Safety Summits exploring concepts of safety, consent, and leadership development with 60 LGBTQI youth
  • Conducted three five-week long self-defense classes
  • Presented seven Street Safety Seminars around Ohio
  • Coordinated with partners to create an LGBTQI Trauma Support Group launching in 2017
  • Provided over 1,500 hours of evening HelpLine Support
  • Trained 200 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners
  • Partnered with local allied anti-violence efforts around the state to promote safety and wellbeing for all
  • Conducted 50 SafeZone and 115 cultural competency trainings around Ohio with over 1,000 service providers and first responders trained to work with LGBTQI survivors
  • Assisted 79 survivors of hate/bias violence (10% increase) and 38 survivors of intimate partner violence (15% increase)
  • Organized a community search effort to assist local law enforcement with a missing person’s investigation
  • Worked with and assisted hundreds of family members, friends, and community members in response to violence against the LGBTQI communities
  • Worked in coalition with allied LGBTQI organizations and businesses responding to and providing local resources in the weeks following the Pulse Nightclub Attack 

It is time to unite against hatred and violence. Your financial support will help sustain the above momentum of strong and timely service that BRAVO has established with the LGBTQI communities and those in
need at a crucial time in their lives. Please consider sponsoring one of the following BRAVO activities:

  • $10 pays for bus passes for survivors to get to shelter
  • $40 pays for 100 safety whistles – BRAVO signature outreach item - we gave out over 10,000 last year
  • $100 covers the cost for BRAVO to provide for emergency clothing and/or household needs for a survivor 
  • $150 covers the cost of providing one month of helpline services
  • $250 pays for one-day of court advocacy – An average legal case can involve three or more trips to court
  • $300 covers the expenses to provide a training workshop for law enforcement and other service providers
  • $1,000 covers the cost of providing a five-week self-defense class

Please give generously and consider becoming part of the BRAVO sustaining community by making your donation a monthly contribution. Every donation matters when helping to restore the safety of LGBTQI victims of crime. You may contribute today with one of the following options:

Contact BRAVO directly: (614) 294-7867
Securely Online Click Here: Online Donation Page
Mail BRAVO a check: PO BOX 82068 Columbus, OH 43202

Please keep in mind it’s not too late to receive a 2016 charitable tax deduction! BRAVO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and your contribution may be tax deductible, see your financial advisor or tax preparer for filing guidelines and instruction.

From all of us here at BRAVO thank for your consideration and please have a safe and happy holiday season!

Sincerely,

Gloria McCauley
Executive Director

 

 

"Holding Our Ground: What Can We Expect from the New Administration Safety, Legislation, Healthcare and How to Get Involved"

Aaron Eckhardt - Friday, November 18, 2016

Join us on Tuesday, November 29 for a panel discussion hosted by Stonewall Columbus, Equality Ohio and The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Org.

"Holding Our Ground: What Can We Expect from the New Administration
Safety, Legislation, Healthcare and How to Get Involved"

Tuesday, November 29 at 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Stonewall Columbus1160 N High St, Columbus, Ohio 43201

Healthcare. Trans rights. Safety. Family security. Our youth. Discrimination.

What does a Trump presidency mean for the LGBTQ community? Let’s find out together.

Join us for a panel discussion with experts from the fields of healthcare, policy, family law, and community safety to learn about the potential impacts of a Trump administration on LGBTQ people and how you can stay safe, get involved, and protect our rights.

The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Org will offer information on basic street and neighborhood safety. In addition, we will be talking about reporting tools to address violence against the LGBTQI communities, as well as services available for survivors, friends, family, and community.

 

NCAVP Looks Toward Tomorrow and Beyond

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, November 10, 2016

 

November 10, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Sue Yacka | New York City Anti-Violence Project (212)714-1184 or syacka@avp.org

NCAVP Looks Toward Tomorrow and Beyond

The last year has been challenging and heartbreaking for LGBTQ communities. We continued to see waves of anti-LGBTQ legislation pass in many states and cities across the country; we witnessed the horrific violence of the Pulse nightclub shooting, which claimed the lives of almost 50 LGBTQ people, most of whom were Latinx; and on the same day this country went to the polls to elect our next president, we learned of the homicide of Noony Norwood in Richmond, Virginia, marking the 23rd report of a homicide of a transgender or gender nonconforming person in 2016 and surpassing the tragic number of homicides that transgender and gender nonconforming communities experienced in 2015. We are still far from ending the discrimination and violence that LGBTQ communities—particularly LGBTQ communities of color, undocumented communities, incarcerated communities, and people with disabilities—experience every day in their workplaces, schools, relationships, and homes.

Yet through it all, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which consists of over 50 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) anti-violence advocacy groups across the country, has mobilized LGBTQ communities: to increase our ability to support and care for each other, to ensure that the experiences and voices of everyone in our communities are witnessed and heard, and to advocate for the legal rights and protections of our communities. Our member programs supported thousands of LGBTQ survivors of violence, providing counseling, legal services, housing, healthcare advocacy, and other services.

We spoke out against Islamophobia and xenophobia in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. We denounced police violence against people of color and transgender and gender nonconforming people. We spoke the names of all of the transgender and gender nonconforming people that we lost to hate violence and intimate partner violence. We advocated to defeat anti-LGBTQ legislation and to support those who have been impacted. We supported the efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement, Native and indigenous communities at Standing Rock, and undocumented communities, and continued to challenge ourselves to ensure that we are acting in solidarity with other social justice movements.

We know that this work is not over. Now more than ever in light of the results of the presidential election, we are committed to speaking out against injustice and to caring for those in our communities who have experienced violence and discrimination.

All of us in the LGBTQ and allied communities can lead the way:

Support one another and be vigilant about calling attention to violence in all its forms.
So often anti-LGBTQ hate and discrimination, bias-motivated violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence go underreported, not reported, or unseen and erased entirely. We must call attention to these insidious forms of violence in order to provide support and prevent future occurrences and ensure that all survivors have access to affirming services and support.

Remain in solidarity with all anti-violence allied movements.
We cannot have a single-issue focus in a multi-issue world. We must continue to come together with our collective power and say enough: no more will we allow anyone to face such heinous acts of violence. We must better articulate that our movement is inclusive of the immigrant rights movement, the disability justice movement, the movement for Black lives, the women’s movement, the racial justice movement, the movement for safe and affordable healthcare, and the economic justice movement in every small town and major city in this nation. To this end we must always seek out and support leadership from those among us that are most impacted by violence, particularly people of color, transgender, gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, and undocumented communities.

As we continue to look toward tomorrow and beyond, we know we are all individually part of something much larger than ourselves. We live at the intersections of all oppression and must continue to move LGBTQ survivors from the margins to the center. We are not alone. Remaining steadfast in solidarity with one another, we draw upon these connections for hope and action. We will work tirelessly, continuously moving ourselves toward the fight for justice and acceptance everywhere. This week, we are tested again, as we have been so many countless times before, and just as many of us feel drained, tired, and overwhelmed, may we all find that our capacity to love and to care may well be limitless.
NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project . For more information, or to locate an anti-violence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online.

BRAVO mourns the loss of Brandi Bledsoe in Cleveland, Ohio

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, October 13, 2016

BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization) responds to the homicide of Brandi Bledsoe, a 32-year-old transgender woman of color in Cleveland, Ohio.

Reports indicate that Brandi was found dead on the eastside of Cleveland. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has initially ruled her death a suspected homicide. BRAVO is working with Cleveland area organizations and individuals throughout Ohio to offer our assistance in supporting Brandi’s family, friends, and community of during this difficult time.

According to media sources the Cleveland Police have not released information about the motivation; however, stated that they are not ruling out her gender identity as a potential motive at this time. Although no motive is known the possibility of hate motivation regarding her gender identity must always be considered, given the ongoing prevalence of violence faced by transgender/gender non-conforming people here in Ohio and nationwide.

The homicide of Brandi marks the third homicide of transgender women in Ohio in just over nine weeks, and 13 murders of transgender/gender non-conforming people in just under four years. Nationally this is the 22nd murder of a transgender/gender non-conforming person in 2016. “This is a critical time, we all have to acknowledge and continue to take action to combat this epidemic of hate and bias violence here in Ohio. We call on all systems, government, and community to commit more resources to combat this violence in Ohio and the nation.” says Aaron Eckhardt, Training and Technical Assistance Director of BRAVO. BRAVO is saddened to learn of this most recent homicide. “Our hearts, minds and condolences are with Brandi’s family, friends, and community in this time of tragedy. As all of us are still mourning the deaths of Skye Mockabee and Rae’Lynn Thomas just weeks ago. All of us at BRAVO are saddened and outraged as our communities continue to be repeatedly targeted and we remain steadfast in providing services to the LGBTQI communities of Ohio. We must continue to come together as a broad community of support to say hate has no home in Ohio, until hate has no home anywhere,” Eckhardt added.

BRAVO is a member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). In the most recent report , Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected Communities in the United States in 2015, BRAVO documented 71 incidents of anti-LGBTQI hate violence incidents in Ohio representing a 10% increase from 2014. Nationally, NCAVP received reports on 24 hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in 2015, which was a 20% increase in the number of reports compared to 2014. Continuing an alarming multi-year trend, people of color and transgender and gender nonconforming people made up the majority of victims of LGBTQ and HIV-affected related hate violence.

“Sadly, we know that hate violence in its many forms is intended to instill a message of hate and fear throughout our entire community. Hate crimes largely go under-reported, or not reported at all, and people are left with restoring their sense of safety and security on their own. BRAVO can help,” said Gloria McCauley, Executive Director of BRAVO.

BRAVO encourages anyone who has experienced anti-LGBTQ violence in Ohio to contact us toll free, 866-86-BRAVO or visit our website http://www.bravo-ohio.org . To learn more about our statewide advocacy and services, receive technical assistance, or support, contact BRAVO. For help locating an anti-violence program in your area, please visit www.ncavp.org.

BRAVO stands in solidarity with all Ohioans and has been working closely with organizations and individuals throughout the state including as we come together responding to this heinous act of violence.

Please connect with BRAVO via www.facebook.com/bravoavp or signup for our email updates on our website http://www.bravo-ohio.org for updates and any information regarding community response.


BRAVO is a member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).

BRAVO works to eliminate violence perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identification, domestic violence, and sexual assault through prevention, education, advocacy, violence documentation, and survivor services, both within and on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities.