The Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence is working to get more people to commit to the safety of women and girls. The organization is hosting a community-wide summit Saturday focusing on gender-based violence.
Summit coordinator Lois McClendon said violence against women and girls is often overlooked or minimized, and often disproportionately impacts women of color and transgender women of color. She said “it seems not to get the kind of play in the media or even the concern among the public.”
According to the advocacy group, Women of Color Network, women of color experience domestic violence at a rate 35 percent higher than white women. And in the past seven years, more than 1,700 transgender women have been killed worldwide, according to the United States Agency for International Development.
The event will offer workshops about intimate partner violence, human trafficking and the role of family and the faith-based community in curbing violence.
McClendon said improved collaboration is key to finding solutions.
“I know that there are a lot of different agencies and organizations that are working for the safety, health and wellbeing of women and girls, but sometimes we don’t all come together,” said McClendon.
McClendon said she’s also looking for more community members to help implement some of the coalition’s strategies to reduce violence, such as breaking the silence about abuse, and creating company policies to address abuse.
The summit is free and open to the public at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in East Liberty.