HealthCall for more inclusive coverage during Sexual Assault Prevention...

Call for more inclusive coverage during Sexual Assault Prevention Month

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Advocates for sexual assault survivors in Idaho and across the country are pushing for a more inclusive view of who is impacted by this issue.

Trans, nonbinary and other gender-expansive individuals have largely been left out of data concerning sexual assault.

Amanda Goodson, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Security Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.

She said the lack of data has started to change in recent years, but trans and nonbinary people face unique challenges for reporting violence.

“When they go to report experiencing – especially sexual victimization,” said Goodson, “they have heightened barriers, or there may not be services that are available to their needs because we didn’t have that or we didn’t know about that experience.”

Sexual Assault Prevention Month

Sexual Assault Prevention Month

Goodson said recognizing someone’s identity can improve how we respond to their assault. Last week, Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a bill banning the use of public funds for gender-affirming care.

Black Liberation Collective is a collection of trans youth in Idaho.

Program Director Paradise Newton said the lack of inclusion of gender-expansive people is telling, because data provides a “moral document” showing who we prioritize in our culture.

“Including trans and nonbinary people in our reporting about sexual assault is one of many necessary ways we can ensure that we accurately share information,” said Newton. “But it is also one of many necessary ways we can be accountable to the survivors in our communities.”

Goodson said it’s important to be critical of data and understand who is included and missing. She said this will better serve people impacted by sexual assault.

“Having inclusive practices and having inclusive services and data that is inclusive as a whole,” said Goodson, “will give us a better idea of how we can improve our responses.”

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