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LGBTQ violence report: High murder rate
From a news release
2012-05-31

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NATIONAL—The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), in a national audio press conference today, released its report Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2011. NCAVP collected data concerning hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) people, from 16 anti-violence programs in 16 states across the country including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Vermont.

In 2011, NCAVP documented 30 anti-LGBTQH murders, the highest yearly total ever recorded by the coalition. This is an 11% increase from the 27 people murdered in 2010. This high murder rate continues a multi-year trend of increases in anti-LGBTQH murders over the past three years of reporting.

87% of the 30 reported hate murder victims in 2011 were LGBTQH people of color. For a second year in a row, this reflects a disproportionate targeting of people of color for severe and deadly violence and is an increase over 2010 where 70% of the 27 reported hate murder victims were LGBTQH people of color.

Transgender women made up 40% of the 30 reported hate murders in 2011, while representing only 10% of total hate violence survivors and victims. This was comparable to last year's report where transgender women made up 44% of the 27 reported hate murders, reflecting a two-year trend toward disproportanate and severe violence faced by transgender women.

Youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to LGBTQH people age 30 and older.

"Murders of LGBTQ people have increased over the last three years, indicating a pattern of escalating violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people," said Jake Finney from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Community Center in Los Angeles, California. "Those most at risk for murder are transgender and gender non-conforming people, people of color, and gay men." This year's report also includes narratives that tell the story of each of these 30 murder victims, real human stories to accompany these alarming statistics. One of those stories is that of DeeDee Pearson, a transgender woman of color who was murdered in Kansas City, Missouri last year. "I knew Dee Dee since she was really young. Dee Dee was a beautiful, warm, and loving spirit. She was shot six times on Christmas Eve by a man who said he was mad that she was transgender," said Paige Dior, a friend of Dee Dee and herself a survivor of anti-transgender violence. "Losing Dee Dee was devastating."

NCAVP documented a 16% decrease in hate violence incidents from 2010 to 2011 but an 11% increase in murder. This year many NCAVP members saw a decline in reports of violence linked to a corresponding increase in murders. "In Detroit, an increase in the severity of violence and particularly murders made it challenging for us to find the capacity to do outreach which can lead to a decrease in reports," said Nusrat Ventimiglia at Equality Michigan. This increase in murders consumed a great deal of organizational capacity. "NCAVP members across the country have spent a tremendous amount of time and resources responding to murders and the tragic, ongoing suicides of our LGBTQ youth," said Rebecca Waggoner from OutFront Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The 2011 report also highlights a number of disturbing trends concerning the severity of violence experienced by LGBTQH people. This year's report shows that LGBTQH youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to LGBTQH people age 30 and older. As in the case of the murder statistics, transgender people and people of color were more likely to experience physical injury in a hate violence incident. The report found that transgender people were 28% as likely to experience physical violence compared to non-transgender people, and that LGBTQ people of color were two times as likely to experience physical violence compared to those who were not LGBTQ people of color.

"NCAVP's findings are a call to policymakers, advocates, and community members that the prevention of violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals needs to be a priority," said Chai Jindasurat, NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. "Our recommendations and best practices provide specific solutions for addressing and ending violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in this country. We call on policymakers, advocates, and community members to be a part of these solutions if we want to see anti-LGBTQH murder and severe violence decrease."

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

Increase funding for LGBTQH anti-violence support and prevention.

End police profiling and police violence against LGBTQH communities.

End the root causes of anti-LGBTQH violence by reducing poverty against LGBTQH communities and systemic homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic discrimination in laws, policies, employment, public services, and education.

End the homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic culture that fuels hate violence.

Collect data and expand research on LGBTQH communities particularly data and research on LGBTQH communities' experiences of violence.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of 41 local member programs and affiliate organizations in 21 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

Contributors and Regional Media Contacts

ALABAMA

Southern Poverty Law Center (Montgomery, AL)

Contact: Mark Potok, (334) 956-8200

Mark.Potok@splcenter.org

ARIZONA

Wingspan Anti-Violence Programs (Tucson, AZ)

Contact: Casey Chimneystar Condit, (520) 624-1779 x127

ccondit@wingspan.org

CALIFORNIA

Community United Against Violence (San Francisco, CA)

Contact: Maria Carolina Morales, (415) 777-5500 x319

carolina@cuav.org

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Anti-Violence Project

Contact: Jake Finney, (323) 993-7653

jfinney@lagaycenter.org

COLORADO

Colorado Anti-Violence Program (Denver, CO)

Contact: Sandhya Luther, (303) 839-5204

sandhya@coavp.org

ILLINOIS

Center on Halsted Anti-Violence Project (Chicago, IL)

Contact: Lisa Gilmore, (773) 661-0734

lgilmore@centeronhalsted.org

OHIO

Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (Columbus, OH)

Contact: Gloria McCauley, (614) 294-7867

gloria@bravo-ohio.org

MASSACHUSETTS

Fenway Community Health Violence Recovery Program (Boston, MA)

Contact: Amanda Escamilla, (617)927-6273

aescamilla@fenwayhealth.org

MICHIGAN

Equality Michigan (Detroit, MI)

Contact: Nusrat Ventimiglia, (313) 505-6035

nusrat@equalitymi.org

MINNESOTA

OutFront Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)

Contact: Rebecca Waggoner, (612) 384-1355

rwaggoner@outfront.org

MISSOURI

Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (Kansas City, MO)

Contact: Lindsey Moore, (816) 561-0550

lindsey@kcavp.org

NEW YORK

Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley (Rochester, NY)

Community Safety Program

Contact: Kelly Clark, (585) 244-8640

kellyc@gayalliance.org

New York City Anti-Violence Project (New York, NY)

Contact: Sue Yacka, (212) 714-1184

syacka@avp.org

SOUTH CAROLINA

Sean's Last Wish (Greenville, SC)

Contact: Elke Kennedy, 864-884-5003

elke@seanslastwish.org

TEXAS

Montrose Counseling Center (Houston, TX)

Contact: Sally Huffer, (713) 529-0037 x324

mcc2@montrosecounselingcenter.org

VERMONT

SafeSpace Program at the R U 1 2? Community Center (Winooski, VT)

Contact: Kim Fountain, (802) 860-7812

kim@ru12.org


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