U.S. Anti-LGBTQ Violence Sees Significant Rise
Bias motivated violence against the LGBTQ community and those infected with HIV saw a sharp 23% increase between 2009 and 2010, reports the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).
In a new NCAVP report released this week titled Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2010, 27 murders of LGBTQ and HIV infected persons are documented. This is the second highest total ever recorded.
Among those, trans people and people of color were the hardest hit.
Of the 27 reported hate murder victims in 2010, 70% were LGBTQ and/or HIV-affected people of color. Worryingly, people of color were also found to be less likely to receive medical attention and reported that they were also less likely to receive “appropriate” responses from police.
Similarly, transgender women made up 44% of the 27 reported murders in 2010, while representing only 11% of total survivors and victims. The report also found that trans women surviving such attacks were less likely to receive medical care.
Reports of violent hate crimes against LGBTQs that did not result in death also rose by 13% when compared to 2009′s totals.
“This increase in murders signals a pattern of severe, ongoing violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities,” said Jake Finney from L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles, California. “Transgender individuals and people of color face multiple forms of discrimination on the basis of race, gender identity and other factors, which can make them more vulnerable to severe violence,” said Maria Carolina Morales from Community United Against Violence in San Francisco, California. “Additionally, the general public, law enforcement, and the media may be less inclined to address, prevent and respond to violence against these communities, making this violence seem invisible and ignored.”
NCAVP collected data from 17 antiviolence programs in 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.
The report recommends the following steps to combat rising anti-LGBTQ violence:
– That state governments and the federal government fund critically needed research and data collection on hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV affected communities, their access to services, and violence prevention initiatives;
– That state and federal agencies gather data about sexual orientation and gender identity;
– That new public and private funding streams be created and agencies target the use of existing funds to increase access to anti-violence services for LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals, particularly for those disproportionately affected by hate violence—i.e. transgender people and people of color;
– That programs and campaigns are created to reduce anti-LGBTQ bias-motivated violence. The leadership of those most impacted by severe hate violence should be made a priority.
– That policymakers and public figures denounce anti-LGBTQ violence.
The report also details real-life stories of the impact of violence on the LGBTQ and HIV communities. Click here to download the full report (.pdf).