Everyone should have access to responsive services to help them feel safe and heal from the harm done to them.
However, not all survivors have the same access to nor receive services that are truly responsive to their particular needs. This disparity leads to an “underserved” group of survivors – those who are at times, most vulnerable to violence, but whose identity or culture are not fully served or represented by services designed for dominant culture identities.
Statistics show that individuals from certain underserved populations, namely those with disabilities, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, religious minorities such as Muslims and Orthodox Jews, and LGBTQ+ individuals experience higher rates of violence and abuse, including victimization, discrimination, and other stressful experiences.
Working Towards a Solution
Through a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2013 Reauthorization provision, the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women developed the Grants for Outreach and Services to Underserved Populations (Underserved Program).
This program works to countervail the disparity in responsive services and support provided to survivors from underserved populations, by investing in training, resources, and tools that better serve and support all.
We are actively working to change this reality, and to ensure more equitable access and support for all survivors from all communities in our nation.