You are here

Proud to support TransCentralPA's Keystone Conference

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is a proud sponsor of TransCentralPA’s fourth annual Keystone Conference, which will take place later this week — March 28 through March 31 — at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg.
The conference, "A Celebration of Gender Diversity," will include social activities, nationally known speakers and a broad range of educational seminars for trans-identifying people, spouses, family members and allies.
Why does PCAR sponsor this event?
Most importantly, because we celebrate diversity and honor and support transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
There’s also another reason, and it ties closely to our work to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault.
Sexual violence affects people in the transgender community in unique ways. PCAR is committed to educating others about the needs of sexual assault victims and survivors who identify as transgender and gender non-conforming. We’re also committed to helping the 50 rape crisis centers across the state provide culturally sensitive services to the transgender community.
We stand side-by-side with our friends at TransCentralPA.
Sexual assault upon the transgender community exists at alarming rates. Multiple studies have shown that 50 percent of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals experience sexual assault at some point in their lives. That statistic is alarming.
Just as alarming is the fact that very few transgender or gender non-conforming victims of sexual assault feel comfortable accessing the services that could help them heal.
Why? Because they face anti-transgender bias that prompts discrimination and barriers to care.
As a result, the transgender community faces two challenges related to sexual violence.
Firstly, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are more likely to be victims of sexual violence.
Secondly, these victims are less likely to access sexual-assault services or seek justice because of the discrimination they may face from service providers such as hospital staff, mental health providers, police officers and lawyers.
Often, transgender or gender non-conforming individuals are blamed for their assault because of their gender expression and/or identity. In some cases, they are denied services. That revictimization makes it less likely that they’ll see out the help they need.
Across society, sexual violence is an underreported crime for many reasons. National studies show that sexual violence against people who identity as transgender or gender non-conforming is even more grossly underreported, unreported or misreported as anti-gay/lesbian incidents.
PCAR is committed to helping change these statistics and the reality that the transgender community faces a high rate of sexual violence and lower access to sexual-assault services.
We congratulate TransCentralPA for its work to improve the lives of transgender individuals in Central Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is the oldest state anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 50 sexual assault centers that serve the state’s 67 counties. Each year these centers provide confidential services, at no charge, to more than 30,000 men, women and children affected by sexual abuse.