Survivor Project

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  • Our Services

    Survivor Project exists to advocate for intersex and trans survivors of domestic and sexual violence. We believe that broad social changes are necessary to meet the needs of intersex and trans survivors. Toward that end, Survivor Project makes available a number of resources and services to non-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals working within the field. Please contact us if you or your organization is interested in receiving our assistance. All of our fee-based services are on sliding scale.


    We compile and generate materials addressing issues specific to serving intersex and trans survivors in a gender-segregated service community. You can order our information packet for $12 per copy, or request our brochures (which can also be downloaded at our Activist Central).


    We have given many workshops for staff and volunteers of anti-violence agencies to help them become more effective in advocating for intersex and trans survivors. While we are based in Portland, Oregon, we are open to traveling. If your agency is interested in hosting our workshop, we recommend coordinating with other agencies in your area so that you can save money on a package deal.


    We provide telephone and in-person consultation on developing policies and strategies to improve intersex and trans survivors' access to resources, while ensuring that existing clients will be served well.

    Ongoing Research

    We continue to improve our knowledge of the abuse and barriers faced by intersex and trans survivors and how to best advocate for them.

    Information and Referrals

    We provide information and referrals for survivors of domestic and sexual violence seeking services in their area. At this point, we do not have the resources to provide direct services such as counseling and support groups, but we are definitely interested in expanding.

    Workshop Details

    "Unique Issues of Intersex & Trans Survivors of Domestic Violence"

    This is our main workshop designed for people experienced in direct service work with survivors of domestic violence. First, participants gain insight into the lives and histories of intersex and trans people through our unique exercises. Synthesizing this new information and participants' own understanding of domestic violence, the group brainstorms how different types of abuse may manifest and complicate the situation when the target of the abuse is intersex or trans. This knowledge is then used to anticipate problems and to strategize how to better assist intersex and trans survivors.

    "How Intersex & Trans People Survive Violence"

    This is the shorter version of the above workshop, designed for volunteers of domestic violence shelters and hotlines who are not necessarily experienced. This workshop explores more broadly the experiences of intersex and trans people in the mainstream U.S. society and how they might affect how intersex and trans people survive domestic and sexual violence.

    "The Domestic Violence Industrial Complex, Or Evaluating Economic & Social Justice Issues in Anti-Domestic Violence Movement"

    This is our most ambitious workshop, designed for anyone who works or volunteers in the anti-domestic violence movement and have wondered if the "movement" they fought for is now turning into an industry controled by bureaucrats, professionals, and the law enforcement. Participants will discuss various dilemmas and contradictions facing the anti-domestic violence movement, and strategize how to take advantage of our new institutional power while maintaining the commitment to greater economic and social justice.

    "Bi and Trans Inclusion in Queer Organizing"

    This workshop is specifically designed for queer activists and organizations that want to make themselves more hospitable to bisexual and trans people. Participants will discuss and dispel biases and stereotypes against bisexual and trans people, and learn how to interrupt oppressive and/or exclusionary comments and practices.

    "Academic versus Activist Approaches to Intersexuality"

    Designed for college-level classrooms, this presentation incorporates lecture, video, and discussion to contrast academic and activist approaches to intersex issues and urges students and teachers to go beyond the abstract, theoretical use of the intersex existence for the sake of deconstructionism and to address real-life issues faced by intersex people and their family members and how they can become better allies to intersex people.

    These are just examples. We are open to designing new workshops for your organization if the pre-packaged ones do not work.


    Diana Courvant

    Diana Courvant is a transsexual activist dedicated to addressing issues of domestic violence survival specific to trans and intersex survivors. Diana founded Survivor Project in early 1997 after her then 4 1/2 years as an activist against domestic violence influenced shelters in Portland, Oregon to begin outreach to transsexual survivors. She has been selected by the Department of Justice to a panel of reviewers for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grants in 2000. Her leadership has been recognized by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, JustOut newsmagazine, and Equality Begins At Home, a nationally coordinated set of state and local actions.

    Emi Koyama

    Since her birth in 1975, Emi Koyama has lived twelve years of her life as a boy, twelve years as a girl, and has been trying to get over it all since her 24th birthday. She nonetheless navigates most of her daily activities as a third wavin' chick activist/academic, synthesizing her feminist, Asian, survivor, lesbian, queer, sex worker, intersex, trans, and crip politics, as these factors, while not a complete descriptor of who she is, all impacted her life. She joined Survivor Project in 1999, and since then updated much of how the organization presented about intersex people. In addition, she volunteers for Danzine, an advocacy organization by and for sex workers.

    Other speakers join in Survivor Project workshops whenever possible because we want our audience to recognize how diverse intersex and trans people are.


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