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Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) is teaming up with the Equality Center to bring Tulsans a panel discussion on interpersonal violence within the LGBTQ+ community. The public event takes place Thursday, July 20, at 6 p.m. inside the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center.
The event, part of an ongoing series to engage the community on the high rates of domestic and dating violence taking place in Tulsa, marks the first geared toward the LGBTQ+ community.
In recent years, studies have shown Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the nation. In addition, Tulsa’s Black and Indigenous residents are more likely to be underserved despite being more likely to face domestic violence, according to a recent report from the Urban Institute.
“The LGBTQIA+ community is unfortunately not immune to the devastating impacts of relationship violence. As an organization committed to supporting and advocating for the rights and well-being of all individuals, we recognize the urgency of addressing this issue and providing a platform for dialogue,” said Tracey Lyall, CEO of DVIS.
DVIS, Equality Center team up to talk about interpersonal violence in the LGBTQ+ community
During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in informative panel discussions led by experts, community leaders and advocates who specialize in addressing interpersonal violence within the LGBTQIA+ community.
The discussion will be moderated by Adam Paluka, DVIS emeritus board member and panelists include: Dorothy Ballard, Executive Director of OkEq; Tracey Lyall, CEO of DVIS; Kayla Doyle, Felony DV Advocate and Rapid Intervention Team Coordinator for DVIS; and, Shellie Seibert, Captain with the Tulsa Police Department and head of the Community Engagement Unit.
Topics to be covered include the prevalence of relationship violence, its impact on different subgroups within the community, the unique challenges faced by survivors when seeking support and local resources available to support victims.
“We believe it is crucial to create an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and valued. Attendees will have the chance to share their experiences, ask questions, and actively participate in the conversation,” said Ballard. “By fostering open and honest dialogue, we aim to challenge misconceptions, break down barriers and strengthen our collective efforts to combat relationship violence.”
In addition to the panel discussions, the event will feature resource booths where attendees can access information on local support services, counseling resources, legal assistance, and community organizations working towards ending relationship violence.
“Our goal is to connect individuals with the vital resources they need and create a network of support within the LGBTQIA+ community,” added Lyall. “We encourage all community members, activists, allies, and organizations to join us in this important conversation. By coming together and working collaboratively, we can create lasting change, raise awareness, and support survivors of relationship violence.”
Launched in October of 2022, DVIS Community Talks, explores a variety of topics, including sexual and domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. The series is geared toward exploring, understanding and responding to different types of interpersonal violence in our communities. More information is available online.