AVP has learned of the death of a 59-year-old transgender woman in Chelsea. At the time of this alert, there is not much public information and we will update you online as we know more. According to media reports, a transgender woman was found unconscious with apparent head trauma last Thursday night on 7th Avenue and 29th Street in Manhattan. She was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where she died of her injuries yesterday, May 4th, 2017. According to other media reports, her injuries do not appear to be self-inflicted or caused by a fall and police are investigating her death as a homicide.
"While we still don't know the cause of death in this case, we know that transgender woman are targeted all too often for severe and deadly violence," said Beverly Tillery, Executive Director at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. "We are facing a crisis of violence. Ten transgender woman have already been killed so far in 2017 and this must stop. As a society we can stop this epidemic by hiring trans women of color, making sure they have safe places to live and standing up when we see or hear them being demeaned and attacked and simply by valuing their lives. The moment to act is now."
AVP has reached out to The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York City, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York City Councilmember Corey Johnson, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.
TAKE ACTION WITH AVP
We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.
If you witness hate violence you can:
Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
Speak up, be loud, and call out what's happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
Distract and divert the attacker's attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
Record what's happening by taking video on your phone.
Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.
AVP will be doing outreach in Chelsea in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. To work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP's Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at email@example.com .
REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE
AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual ( English/Spanish ) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.