The LGBTQIA+ Program at BAWAR*

(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Plus)

BAWAR is committed to providing a responsive space for LGBTQIA+ individuals who have experienced and/or been impacted by sexual violence. We envision a space in which the particular experiences and needs of the LGBTQIA+ communities are clearly and actively named, believed and advocated for, all facilitated under the leadership of queer staff.


  • Believing and uplifting the stories and experiences of LGBTQIA+ survivors.
  • Centering LGBTQIA+ survivors as the experts of their own stories and experiences
  • Celebrating queer leadership within the agency
  • Asserting that the ways in which the LGBTQIA+ communities experience assault are specific and particular to those communities, and that LGBTQIA+ survivors deserve LGBTQIA+ specific support.
  • Challenging heteronormative and ciscentric** narratives within the mainstream anti-sexual violence movement.
  • Attending to intersectional, multicultural and anti-oppression frames.
  • Upholding the reality that sexual harm can be experienced by all genders and caused by all genders.
  • Advocating for LGBTQIA+ survivors within the Bay Area community through education and outreach.
  • Demanding responsive care for LGBTQIA+ individuals who seek to obtain a forensic medical examination or to report an assault to law enforcement.

Counseling Services 

Clinical Counseling

Our newly developed clinical counseling program prioritizes LGBTQIA+ clients, by committing to serving LGBTQIA+ survivors and their loved ones for at least 30% of our overall clinical caseload.

Individuals, families and/or couples can receive up to fifteen, no-fee sessions with a mental-health clinician, registered within the state of California. Although each clinician may differ in style and/or theoretical orientation, the overall Clinical Program of BAWAR is informed by an anti-oppression, multicultural, humanistic framework, influenced by feminist, narrative and liberation psychologies. We are happy to discuss what these clinical orientations are and, more specifically, what they mean to us. In addition, we have an LGBTQIA+ identified clinician on staff who is available for appointments and consultation. For more information, please visit the In-Person Counseling Page.

Currently, the clinical counseling program is on a wait list, however things change all the time. Feel free to contact our office for more information at (510) 430 – 1298 x 310 or email at for more information.

Peer Counseling

The Peer Counseling Program at BAWAR is currently being re-envisioned and will resume accepting clients in the late Summer of 2018. The new Peer Counseling Program will include a thriving cohort of LGBTQIA+ identified peer counselors who will be able to meet with LGBTQIA+ survivors for 10 sessions of peer support. For more information, please visit the In-Person Counseling Page.

Education and Outreach

The LGBTQIA+ program at BAWAR is available to provide trainings focused on the specific barriers and needs of survivors in the queer community.

Collaborations or requests for the development of agency or organization-specific trainings are welcome! Please see our Community Education  page for more information.

Community Focus Groups

The Community Focus Groups are open meetings which occur twice per year, during which we host group discussions which shape the future of our program. All members of the LGBTQIA+ communities are invited to attend, survivors of sexual violence warmly encouraged.

These meetings are essential to our process of accountability as a program. Because we endeavor to be a truly responsive space to the LGBTQIA+ communities in the Bay, we open up this space to receive feedback in an open forum, as well as to create room for envisioning the programs continued needs and opportunities for development.

Community Events

We believe strongly in the importance of developing community partnerships and collaborations with LGBTQIA+ focused non-profits, community organizations, arts and organizing collectives as well as LGBTQIA+ leaders in the Bay Area.

Stay tuned for information about upcoming events!


Peacock Rebellion is an incredible artist/activist/healer collective AND has a wonderful list of low-cost, QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color) mental health providers which you can find here.

The National Queer and Trans Therapist of Color Network is also a stellar resource with a robust resource directory.

Bay Area Open Minds has listings of clinicians who are sex-positive, body-positive and affirming of sexual and gender diversity, as well as kink and poly relationships.

Additional Low-Cost Therapy Services

Individual Counseling

The Pacific Center


Queer Life Spaces – San Francisco

Woman’s Therapy Center – East Bay

Psychotherapy Institute – East Bay

Peer-led Groups

Oakland LGBTQ Center

SF LGBT Center

The Pacific Center – East Bay


GLBT National Help Center


SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline


GLBT National Youth Talk Line


San Francisco Suicide Prevention


Trans Life Line


Statistical Analysis

Derived from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, 2012. There is a tremendous need for more comprehensive data on the occurrence of gender-based violence within the LGBTQIA+ communities, in particular LGBTQIA+ communities of color, disabled LGBTQIA+ survivors and undocumented LGBTQIA+ survivors.

Lifetime sexual assault victimization ranges from 15.6% to 55% for women who identify as lesbian or bisexual and 20% to 30.4% for men who identify as gay or bisexual.

General population studies show a lifetime prevalence rate of 11-17% for women and 2-3% for men. (ostensibly cis)

There are currently NO NATIONAL POPULATION-BASED STUDIES that include questions on gender identity, however data on sexual violence against transgender people found that 10-59% of transgender persons reported experiencing unwanted sexual activity.

In November of 2004, FORGE undertook a community dialogue around sexual violence within the transgender and SOFFA (Significant Others, Friends, Family and Allies) communities, including participants from the Wisconsin area. 74% of trans participants reported experiencing more than one incident of sexual violence. 45% of those respondents were direct survivors (abuse happened directly to them), 45% were both direct and secondary survivors (a secondary survivor is someone who was impacted by sexual violence, but not a direct survivor).

There is limited research about the perpetration of sexual violence, both within and outside of LGBTQIA+ communities.

Teens who identify as LGBTQIA+ may also be at higher risk for sexual coercion or sexual assault.

Higher rates of forced sexual intercourse among gay or lesbian students (Median 23.7%), bisexual students (Median 22.6%) and students who were ”unsure” or questioning (Median of 19.8%). Heterosexual students showed a median of 7.2%.

You can find BAWAR’s current glossary of terms here: LGBTQIA+Glossary.BAWARPDF

* Bay Area Women Against Rape recognizes that our name presents a barrier to many in the LGBTQIA+ communities.

The agency is in the process of addressing this matter.

** centering people whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender)


For more information contact

BAWAR is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, regardless of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), physical or mental disability, age (40 and older), genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, AIDS/HIV status, medical condition, political activities or affiliations, military or veteran status, status as a victim of domestic violence, assault, or stalking, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or any other law.