Violence against America’s LGBTQ community increased significantly in 2010


Violent crimes against LGBTQ people are on the rise, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).

In its annual report — Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States — the NCAVP study shows the second highest murder rate ever recorded against LGBTQ persons, with transgender persons and LGBTQ persons of color as the most targeted for severe hate violence.

According to the report — which covers the years 2009 through 2010 — 27 murders of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people were documented, the second highest yearly total ever recorded. Overall reports of violent crime increased 13% for LGBTQ and HIV-affected people.

NCAVP collected data concerning hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people, from 17 anti-violence programs in 15 states across the country including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Among the study’s findings:

“Seventy percent of the 27 reported hate murder victims in 2010 were LGBTQ and HIV-affected people of color, which represented 44% of total survivors and victims. This reflects a disproportionate targeting of people of color for severe and deadly violence. As well, people of color were less likely to receive medical attention when they needed it and less likely to receive appropriate responses from the police.

“Transgender women made up 44% of the 27 reported hate murders in 2010, while representing only 11% of total survivors and victims. As well, transgender people were more likely to have injuries as a result of attacks and less likely to receive medical care.”

“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 documented a 13% increase in hate violence incidents from 2009 to 2010, as well as a much greater increase in the severity of violence.

“The findings of this report are troubling and reveal a need for the serious commitment of organizations, institutions, funders and policymakers towards research and the prevention of violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals,” said Sandhya Luther from the Colorado Anti-Violence Program in Denver, Colorado. “Our recommendations represent crucial steps for ending violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in this country.”

The report’s specific recommendations include calling for the following changes:

  • Fund critically needed research and data collection on hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, their access to services, and violence prevention initiatives.
  • Gather data about sexual orientation and gender identitiy in all federal, state and local government forms.
  • Create new public and private funding streams and 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.
  • Create programs and campaigns to reduce anti-LGBTQ hate violence. Prioritize the leadership of those most impacted by severe hate violence within these programs.
  • Stop the culture of hate through policymakers and public figures denouncing anti-LGBTQ violence.

This year’s report also includes real-life stories from LGBTQ survivors of hate violence to call immediate and necessary attention to the need to end the culture violence in which these incidents of hate violence occur.

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