LGBTQ+ Resources

In observance of Pride Month this June, WNC Bridge would like to share resources available to the LGBTQ+ Community. For those seeking support, we recommend exploring the LGBTQ+ Resources Guide for Asheville.

One invaluable organization that has consistently supported the LGBTQ+ community is Helpmate, which provides essential services to survivors of domestic violence. WNC Bridge collaborates closely with Helpmate advocates to assist domestic violence survivors and their children in transitioning to safe environments by offering rental and utility assistance.

Helpmate was established in 1978 as a task force of the Buncombe County Commission on the Status of Women. Its inception was spurred by a survey revealing that over 7,500 women in Buncombe County faced intimate partner violence annually. Caitrin Doyle, Outreach Coordinator at Helpmate, has shared statistics highlighting the prevalence of violence within the LGBTQ+ community:

  • 43.8% of lesbian women and 61.1% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.
  • 26% of gay men and37.3% of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, in comparison to 29% of heterosexual men.
  • In 2012, fewer than 5% of LGBTQ survivors of intimate partner violence sought orders of protection. Transgender victims are more likely to experience intimate partner violence in public, compared to those who do not identify as transgender. Bisexual victims are more likely to experience sexual violence, compared to people who do not identify as bisexual. (National Coalition to End Domestic Violence, 2018).

Caitrin shared that stigma plays an enormous role in preventing members of the LGBTQ+ Community from seeking assistance such as homophobia, transphobia, and a lack of awareness that intimate partner violence occurs in LGBTQ+ relationships. Helpmate serves survivors diversely in sexual orientation and gender identity. Caitrin adds that cultural and community pressures also play a role. Addressing these barriers requires enhanced education, inclusive policies, increased resources, and building trust with LGBTQ+ people.

Helpmate’s message to the donors that support WNC Bridge’s Community Initiatives: “Thank you so much. We are deeply committed to offering services to survivors free of charge and rely on the generosity of spirit of our neighbors to continue in our mission to provide safety, shelter, and support to survivors of intimate partner domestic violence living in Buncombe County.”

For more information about Helpmate, click here.


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