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

Aaron Eckhardt - Thursday, March 29, 2018

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Ohio is just one of three states, the others being Tennessee and Kansas, to have this extremely outdated policy.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



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


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)