Bulletins

Bulletins

Bulletins

Advocates for Transgender Equality Filed a Lawsuit to Challenge Ohio’s Birth Certificate Policy

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, March 29, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2018

Media contact:
Aaron Eckhardt, Interim Executive Director
(614) 294-7867 | aaron@bravo-ohio.org

COLUMBUS — Today the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal announced a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s refusal to allow transgender individuals to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates, for any reason, at any time.

 

“It is unconscionable that Ohio continues to deny this basic right to transgender people. Without a birth certificate that aligns with who they are, our transgender citizens from Ohio are at risk of being outed and are more vulnerable to violence. It is time for Ohio to join the vast majority of states that recognize the cruelty of withholding something so vital to a person’s identity. I believe the people of Ohio are better than this and will support this change in the law.”, Says Debé Turnbull, Board president for BRAVO.

 

Ohio is just one of three states, the others being Tennessee and Kansas, to have this extremely outdated policy. A similar policy in Idaho was recently struck down by a federal judge.

 

“To not afford transgender individuals this simple act of dignity and respect is disheartening and discriminatory. Additionally, the fact that in our state, transgender individuals cannot obtain birth certificates with their correct gender marker is completely unacceptable.”, Said Aaron Eckhardt, Interim Executive Director of BRAVO.

 

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. BRAVO is in complete support of the ACLU of Ohio in their efforts to protect and expand LGBTQ rights.

 

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

 

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.


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 founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)

BRAVO 2018 First Quarter Report

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, March 15, 2018

The first quarter of 2018 is coming to an end. In this short time, we have already made a number of significant transitions; the largest being the promotion of our new Interim Executive Director, Aaron Eckhardt, MSW. They have been with BRAVO for 7 years, in the capacity of Training and Technical Assistance Director, and most recently as Associate Director. The institutional knowledge they bring to BRAVO ensures the smooth continuation of programs and services.

In addition, BRAVO has undergone some staff transitions, welcoming two current staff members into new positions, Shinesha Yoder as the Survivor Services Coordinator and Jennifer Eidemiller as the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator. Finally, we welcome Ashton Kimbler onto our staff as the Outreach and Safety Program Assistant.

Our staffing changes are just the tip of the iceberg though. BRAVO has undergone a critical assessment of our services, and as a result we are launching a series of new initiatives:

  • In April, BRAVO will publish its first annual Community Benefit Report in over 8 years. We understand our stakeholders need for transparency, and we commit to providing these reports on an annual basis. Once published, it will be available on the website, and electronically or in print upon request.
  • On April 16th, BRAVO will relaunch the LGBTQ Survivors of Violence support group. This is the first support group BRAVO has had in nearly 4 years. The group provides a safe space for LGBTQ survivors of violence to connect with one another, and work toward living vibrant, healthy, fully engaged lives.
  • In May, BRAVO will begin rolling out a redesign of our Victim Services programs:
    • Transitioning from current Information and Referral Services into a Comprehensive Case Management Model. We want our clients to be supported throughout the duration of their healing process.
    • The launch of a centralized Web-based intake system, which will streamline and decrease response times.
    • A one-touch web-based violence reporting function
    • A BRAVO app to document incidents in real time with a safe means to contact BRAVO
    • Expanding services in rural communities
  • In June, we will launch a strength-based volunteer recruitment program. BRAVO will begin actively recruiting volunteers and matching them with areas of expertise and interest. These placements will provide a greater, long-lasting and gratifying experience for volunteers.
  • In July, BRAVO will begin rolling out the redesign of the BRAVO Training and Technical Assistance programs:
    • An increase in the number of trainings performed in rural Ohio communities
    • Expand the types of trainings provided.
    • Launch of web-based training portals, which will provide recipient organizations access to supplemental training materials on an on-going basis.
    • An option of web-based training facilitation
  • In October, BRAVO will begin rolling out an expansion of Youth Services. The details of these services are still being solidified, but please continue to stay in touch with us and keep tabs on how we've grown!

BRAVO has had an active first quarter in 2018. We are confident that our growth will continue, and we appreciate the support, feedback, and patience from our community as we grow into an organization that will make you proud! Please follow our work and engage with us on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BRAVOAVP
Twitter: @BRAVOAPV
Instagram: @BRAVOAVP

BRAVO Announces New Peer Support Group

Aaron Eckhardt - Friday, March 09, 2018

BRAVO Announcement - New Support Group

Monthly LGBTQ Survivors of Violence Peer Support Group

BRAVO support groups offer a place for LGBTQ survivors of violence to connect with other survivors, working together toward the goal of living a vibrant, healthy and fully engaged life.

FIRST MEETING: APRIL 16, 2018 | 7:00-8:00 PM
RSVP: by April 13, 2018Phone: (614) 294-7867 | Email: supportgroups@bravo-ohio.org


 

Community Alert - Stronger than Hate

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, March 01, 2018

 

BRAVO IS ISSUING THE FOLLOWING ALERT FOR THE SAFETY OF THE LGBTQI COMMUNITIES OF CENTRAL OHIO


March 2, 2018

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, 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 is 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.

This is a time to be extra vigilant. We need to be aware of our surroundings and watch out for each other. If possible, go out with friends and be accountable to each other. Make sure someone knows where you are going, and with whom. Avoid walking alone, especially in alleys or dark, less populated areas. If you feel uncomfortable, listen to your instincts. If you do see something, say something. BRAVO is here to help. It is never your fault if someone chooses to cause harm.

Don't Take It… Report It! has been a mantra for over 20-years as BRAVO has been working to provide life-saving and affirming services to LGBTQI survivors of violence across the state of Ohio. We can provide advocacy and crisis support services when needed and wanted for individuals, groups, families, and communities. We also keep 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.

BRAVO Volunteers and Staff will be out in the community on Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd evenings in the Short North and the Columbus South Side LGBTQ bars distributing safety information, items, and talking about community safety. If you see one of us please say hello and pick up a BRAVO Safety Tip Card.

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.

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

Community Alert We are Stronger Than Hate

* STAY ALERT * TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS * BE AWARE *


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)

BRAVO mourns the loss of Phylicia Mitchell in Cleveland, Ohio

Aaron Eckhardt - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2018

Media contact:
Aaron Eckhardt, Interim Executive Director
(614) 294-7867 | aaron@bravo-ohio.org

BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization) responds to the homicide of Phylicia Mitchell, a 45-year-old transgender woman of color killed in Cleveland, Ohio on February 26, 2018.

Reports indicate Phylicia was found dead in her home located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. BRAVO is working with Cleveland area organizations and individuals throughout Ohio to offer our assistance. “Our hearts, minds and condolences are with Phylicia’s chosen family, friends, and community in this time of tragedy. We at BRAVO are saddened and outraged as our communities continue to be 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 until hate has no home in Ohio, until hate has no home anywhere,” says Aaron Eckhardt, Interim Executive Director of BRAVO.

According to media sources, Cleveland Police has not released information about the motivation or identified a suspect at this time. Her longtime partner, Shane Mitchell has told media sources that he thinks Phylicia’s death was drug-related. At BRAVO we recognize even when no motive or incomplete motive is known, the possibility of hate motivation based on gender identity must always be considered. Especially given the ongoing prevalence of violence faced by transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people living here in Ohio and nationwide.

The homicide of Phylicia Mitchell marks the fifth homicide of a transgender person murdered in 2018. Eckhardt added, “2017 was the deadliest year on recorded for single incident anti-LGBTQ homicides since data collection began. This is a critical time, we have to acknowledge and continue to take action to combat this epidemic of hate and bias violence. We call on all systems of government, and the community to commit more resources to resist and reduce violence in Ohio and the nation.”

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) report, A Crisis of Hate, 52 anti-LGBTQ single incident homicides in 2017 an 86% increase from 2017. Tragically for the past five-years, transgender women of color are the most impacted by violence and homicide among the LGBTQ communities.

“We at BRAVO know that the reality of hate violence is intended to instill a message of hate and fear throughout our entire community. Even with the increase in reporting, it is still true that hate violence incidents largely go under-reported, or not reported at all. No one should have to go through this alone, said Debé Turnbull, Board President of BRAVO, “BRAVO can help.”

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

BRAVO is working in solidarity with the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, other organizations, and with all Ohioans as we come together in response 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 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 founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).

BRAVO Calls for Charges to Be Dropped Against the #Blackpride4

Aaron Eckhardt - Wednesday, January 31, 2018

 

MEDIA RELEASE


For Immediate Release
January 31, 2018
Media Contact: Aaron Eckhardt, Interim Executive Director
614-294-7867-6402 | aaron@bravo-ohio.org


Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization Calls for Charges to Be Dropped Against the #Blackpride4

This past year, four black queer and trans individuals, Wriply Bennet, Kendall Denton, Ashley Braxton and Deandre Miles, were arrested and detained during a protest at the annual Columbus Pride Parade. The individuals, known collectively as the #BlackPride4, currently face multiple charges. The protest was in response to state violence and the lack of inclusion and erasure of LGBTQI people of color in a time when violence against our communities is reaching unprecedented levels nationwide and here at home.

The LGBTQI community has a long history of fighting against hate and bias violence, interpersonal violence, and targeted state violence, such as the Compton’s Cafeteria riot in 1966 and the Stonewall riot in 1969. As pride events commemorate these early pioneers and freedom fighters for LGBTQI civil rights and continue to spread awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQI community, there is clearly more critical work to be done. Record numbers of trans women of color were murdered in 2017. There also continues to be consistent and increasing reports of state violence, especially towards LGBTQI people of color. We encourage our community to come together, remember our roots, and call for an end to systemic violence. No one is free, until we all are free.

BRAVO remains committed to non-violent, peaceful protest, and supports action calling attention to intersectional violence. BRAVO continues to call for justice for the #BlackPride4, as they prepare for trial in early February. We stand in solidarity with local organizers bringing awareness to all forms of racist, and anti-LGBTQI violence. We are in opposition to all forms of oppression and violence, from within our community or against it. This includes hate and bias violence, interpersonal violence, and targeted state violence. We will continue to do our best to grow and change in order to serve our entire LGBTQI community and support local and national anti-violence work.


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)

 

Aaron Eckhardt named Interim Executive Director

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, January 11, 2018

 

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Media Contact: Debe Turnbull, BRAVO Board President
614-633-6402 debe@bravo-ohio.org

Aaron Eckhardt named Interim Executive Director

In a restructuring move to meet the needs of the organization, Aaron Eckhardt has been named Interim Executive Director of The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO). Aaron brings 18 years of social work practice and experience working with many different populations and communities. Most recently Aaron served as the Associate Director at BRAVO, and previously was the Training and Technical Assistance Director for BRAVO. Aaron has been involved with the operations at BRAVO for many years, and his appointment will ensure the smooth continuation of programs and services.

Aaron Eckhardt said: “I have a tremendous amount of gratitude and respect for the founder of BRAVO, Gloria McCauley, my long-time mentor and friend. She has served BRAVO for more than twenty years and we all have an amazing legacy to uphold. I am humbled and excited to accept this position and continue serving those affected by violence in the LGBTQ communities of Ohio.”

The BRAVO Board of Directors will be initiating a search for a permanent Executive Director, and a separate announcement will be sent when that process begins. The board wishes to add our thanks to Gloria McCauley. Her devotion and passion for BRAVO made the work of the organization possible. She is a true pioneer and advocate and we thank her for her tireless service on BRAVO’s behalf.


Mission: 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.

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 - Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dear Friend of BRAVO,

BRAVO remains committed to bringing life-saving and critical services statewide to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) survivors of violence in our communities. In a time when we are experiencing an escalation of anti-LGBTQI hate and bias violence, including increases in physical violence, your support is more vital than ever.

With your help, BRAVO can continue to 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:

 

  • Hosted two LGBTQI Youth Safety Summits exploring concepts of safety, consent, and leadership development with 50 LGBTQI youth 
  • Conducted two five-session self-defense classes
  • Presented seven Street Safety Seminars around Ohio 
  • Provided over 1,500 hours of evening HelpLine Support 
  • Trained 150 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners 
  • Partnered with local allied anti-violence efforts around the state to promote safety and wellbeing for all 
  • Conducted 40 SafeZone trainings (two-day compressive LGBTQ and anti-oppression training program) for service providers with 684 participants
 
  • Conducted 100 LGBTQ cultural competency trainings around Ohio with over 1,000 service providers, first responders, and law enforcement personnel trained to work with LGBTQI survivors
  • Partnered with local allied anti-violence efforts around the state to promote safety and wellbeing for all
  • Assisted 46 survivors of hate/bias violence (18% increase of physical violence) and 46 survivors of intimate partner violence (21% increase) 
  • A Participated in awareness campaign seeking information relating to an unsolved homicide 
  • 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 increased requests for services and support in the last few months of 2016 and throughout 2017

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 2017 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

​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.