KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley are providing new services for the LGBTQ+ community.

They have introduced their first-ever victim advocate for the LGBTQ+ population. The advocate will provide a range of services including trauma-responsive court, community, and personal advocacy, crisis intervention, and resource linkage.

YWCA is also offering a support group for victims of domestic violence in the LGBTQ+ population, which will meet on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Knox Pride Center on Chapman Highway.

“Our support group is different from regular domestic violence support groups because we will focus on both gender and domestic violence,” said Meredith Moss, YWCA LGBTQ+ Victim Advocate. “We wanted to create a safe and relaxed environment where people could come and be themselves regardless of sexual orientation and identities within the community.”

“For many years, YWCA has provided culturally specific victim advocacy services to our Latinx community, immigrant and refugee communities, and others,” said YWCA CEO, Rachel Haverkamp. “We heard and responded to the need in our community for LGBTQ+ services and are proud to partner with Knox Pride and other community partners to offer these services. As we celebrate Pride Month, we know that YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women is more relevant and urgent than ever before.”

The support group will run for eight weeks and began on June 7. The curriculum will cover trauma, safety, self-care, healthy relationships, mindfulness, stress, and more.

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley offers support and services to women and families in Knox, Anderson, Loudon, and Roane Counties. The organization focuses on victim advocacy services, violence prevention, education, transitional housing, and youth development programs