June 4, 2013 - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), in a national audio press conference today, released its annual report documenting the high level of hate violence experienced by LGBTQ and HIV-affected persons in the United States in 2012. The report, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2012, is the most comprehensive report on this violence in the United States. It draws on data collected from 15 anti-violence programs in 16 states (with one organization reporting about two states) across the country. States reporting were: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont.
To download the full report please visit NCAVP online
The 2012 report documents 2,016 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence in 2012 (a slight 4% decrease from 2011), and highlights a number of disturbing multi-year trends of severe anti-LGBTQ violence. LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBTQ people, and gay men were 1.56 times as likely to require medical attention compared to other survivors reporting. The report also found that transgender people were 1.67 times as likely to experience threats and intimidation compared to LGBTQ non-transgender survivors and victims. "Though the recent spate of hate violence incidents in New York City has captured the media's attention, this report demonstrates that severe acts of violence against gay men, transgender people and LGBTQ people of color are, unfortunately, not unique to Manhattan nor to the past month, but rather part of a troubling trend in the United States," said Chai Jindasurat, NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project.
Homicide rates remain disturbingly high
In 2012, NCAVP documented 25 anti-LGBTQ homicides in the United States. This continues a multi-year trend in high anti-LGBTQ homicide rates nationally (30 were reported in 2011, the highest ever) , and is the 4th highest yearly total ever recorded by NCAVP. Lisa Gilmore from Center on Halsted Anti-Violence Project in Chicago, Illinois cautions that the number of homicides may be even higher: "Over the last several years, not only have we seen consistently high rates of anti-LGBTQ homicides, but we also know there are many more homicides of LGBTQ people, especially transgender people and people of color, which go unreported. Twenty-five LGBTQ hate violence homicides is an alarming number – and we know it could just be the tip of the iceberg."
The 2012 report found that 73.1% of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were people of color. Of the 25 known homicide victims in 2012 whose race/ethnicity was disclosed, 54% were Black/African American, 15% Latin@, 12% White and 4% Native American.
The report also found that 53.8% of anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women. This is a considerable increase from 2011 (40%) and continues a three-year trend toward disproportionate and severe violence experienced by transgender women.
"For a third year in a row, NCAVP's findings reflect a disproportionate impact of severe and deadly violence on people of color," said Maria Carolina Morales from Community United Against Violence in San Francisco, California. "This is also true for transgender women victims, all of whom were people of color, and continues a multi-year trend that transgender women of color are targeted for deadly violence."
Reports of police violence and misconduct increased considerably
The 2012 report also documents a number of troubling findings related to the interaction of LGBTQ survivors of violence with police. Of survivors reporting violence to the police, 48% reported incidents of police misconduct, a considerable increase from 2011 (32%). Of those survivors who interacted with the police, 26.8% reported that the police attitudes were hostile, an 18% increase from 2011. Additionally, reports of police violence and misconduct mirrored the larger trend of the disproportionate targeting of people of color and transgender people. The report found that:
Transgender people were 3.32 times as likely to experience police violence compared to non-transgender people.
Transgender people of color were 2.46 times as likely to experience physical violence by the police compared to white non-transgender people.
Transgender women were 2.90 times as likely to experience police violence compared to overall people reporting violence.
Transgender women were 2.71 times as likely to experience physical violence by the police compared to overall people reporting violence.
"Around the country, NCAVP members are organizing and mobilizing to address the pervasive experiences of discriminatory policing that decrease trust, reporting and access to safety for LGBTQ safety," said Ejeris Dixon, Deputy Director in charge of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. "This year's statistics are particularly alarming and shed light to the long-term experiences of LGBTQ communities."
Milan Nicole, a survivor of hate violence and police violence who now works as the Youth Organizer at BreakOUT! in New Orleans, Louisiana, stated: "LGBTQ people experience violence at the hands of the police every day. Transgender people need access to housing, education, jobs and other assistance because without it, they are forced into non-traditional forms of employment like sex work and targeted by police. It's all connected."
NCAVP's report makes it unequivocally clear that more must be done to stop this hate violence. "NCAVP's report findings are a wakeup call that LGBTQ and HIV-affected people are facing extremely high levels of violence that need to be addressed as a priority in the United States," said Chai Jindasurat. "We call on policymakers, advocates, and community members to be a part of the solutions that NCAVP recommends in the 2012 report."
The report's specific policy recommendations include:
End law enforcement violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people through holding police officers accountable for homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic violence, prohibiting profiling based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and training law enforcement on LGBTQ communities experiences of violence.
End the root causes of anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence through addressing anti-LGBTQ and HIV-affected institutional, cultural, and interpersonal discrimination.
Decrease risk of severe violence and homicide through ending poverty and homelessness in LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, through things like access to jobs programs, housing and safe schools.
Collect data and expand research on LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities' experiences of violence on a local, state and federal level.
Increase funding for LGBTQ and HIV-affected anti-violence support and prevention programs.
NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of 47 local member programs and affiliate organizations in 24 states, Canada, and Washington DC, who create systemic and social change. We strive to increase power, safety, and resources through data analysis, policy advocacy, education, and technical assistance.
NCAVP is coordinated by the New York City Anti-Violence Project
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