Abuse in Lesbian Relationships &
Lesbian Friendly Service:

A Saskatchewan Survey (2001-2002)

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Appendix H: Evaluating Your Service for Accessibility to Lesbians


0 - NO or UNKNOWN
1 - KIND OF or YES, BUT COULD USE IMPROVEMENT
2 - YES

All written materials use inclusive language (no pronouns) and address the issue of abuse in lesbian relationships:

___ Mission statement
___ Philosophy statement
___ Brochures/Pamphlets
___ Arrival & Departure forms
___ House Guidelines/Rules
___ Crisis Line Record forms
___ 'Lesbian' is an option when asking any questions about marital status, next of kin, and/or family support on pertinent forms

Heterosexism is identified as an oppression and a form of violence:

___ In the Philosophy Statement
___ In the House Guidelines/Rules
___ In the Personnel Policies
___ In Training Manuals

Resources & Physical Surroundings:

___ There are children's books that reflect the lives of lesbians.
___ There are books, videos, magazines, music that reflect the lives of lesbians.
___ There is information (posters, pamphlets, books, articles, videos) dealing with the issue of abuse in lesbian relationships and with heterosexism.
___ There are posters, pictures and art work that depict positive lesbian relationships (not just anti-bashing posters and AIDS posters)

Services:

___ Welcome/orientation material for residents or clients clearly states the unacceptability of heterosexist behaviour, language, remarks, written material or symbols and the consequences of engaging in such behaviour.
___ A process is established by which clients can specifically address heterosexist behaviour, language, written materials, symbols and remarks directed at them by other clients, staff, volunteers, students and board members.
___ Referral sources are available to lesbians that have been assessed for being lesbian positive and knowledgeable about abuse in lesbian relationships (agencies, lawyers, doctors, clinics, teachers, counsellors, clergy/spiritual support, day care centres etc.).
___ Information on your agency's services is distributed so that it will reach lesbians.

Staff, Board Members, Volunteers and Students:

___ The effects of heterosexism on lesbians are addressed in initial and ongoing orientation and training for staff, board, volunteers and students.
___ A forum exists in the workplace for heterosexual women to educate themselves around their own heterosexism and heterosexual privilege.
___ Advertised qualifications for job openings and board positions include a commitment to confront heterosexism on both a personal and organizational level.
___ Employment equity statements on job postings include sexual orientation.
___ Advertisements for job, volunteer and board positions are placed in publications, resource centres and agencies that will reach lesbians.
___ Interview process screens and prioritizes candidates for anti-heterosexist attitudes and beliefs.
___ Agency has a commitment to lesbian involvement at all levels of the organization.

Personnel Policies:

___ Health/Dental benefits are available for same sex partners.
___ Compassionate & Bereavement leaves allow for same sex partners.
___ Sick days taken for children allow for children of same sex partner.
___ Acts of heterosexism are grounds for disciplinary action.
___ A process is established by which lesbian staff can address heterosexist behaviour, language, written materials, symbols and remarks directed at them by other staff, volunteers, students, clients, board members and outside sources.
___ Lesbian staff are assured that being 'out' to clients, community, staff etc. is their right and will be respected regardless of the reaction of clients, staff, community etc.

Evaluations:

___Staff evaluations and supervisions include questions about or goals for anti-heterosexist work.
___ Staff, students, volunteers and board members are periodically asked to assess the agency's anti- heterosexist policies and practices.
___ A mechanism is in place to ensure continual input from clients to assess the agency's anti- heterosexist policies and practices.
___ Programs are periodically assessed based on input from workers, clients, and through lesbian community consultations to ensure accessibility to lesbians.

Total Points
50 - 66: Congratulations, you probably have a lesbian-positive service
26 - 49: You're getting there, keep up the work
0 - 25: You are not accessible to lesbians

From Lesbians Working to End Violence in Lesbian Relationships, 1997