Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gays Murdered at 2nd Highest Level in a Decade

New York, New York – Anti-gay hate crime murders reported for 2009 spiked up to the second highest level in a decade, according to the recent Hate Crimes Statistics Report of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). The press release in its entirety may be found here.  22 murders of LGBT people were reported by law enforcement agencies around the nation last year. Communities of color and transgender persons were the hardest hit, a grim trend to watch carefully in the coming months.  79% of anti-gay murder victims were people of color, and the majority of them were transgender women.  The vast majority of attackers were men (77%) and were strangers to the victims they attacked (40%).  Community United Against Violence’s Maria Carolina Morales noted in a conference call with the Bay Area Reporter that there continues to be “severe and persistent violence” against LGBTQ communities.”  Ms. Morales, based in San Francisco, emphasized that “people of color, transgender women, and others continue to be disproportionately targeted for violence.” The report of the NCAVP shows that the highest incidence of physical attacks against LGBTQ people took place in October 2009 to coincide with the passage of Federal Hate Crimes legislation, the James Byrd, Jr. and Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  The heightened media profile of the gay community is thought to account for the spike in numbers. As the press release states, there is a troubling correlation between “increased visibility and increased vulnerability.” Another alarming finding is that though the total of 2009 anti-gay hate crimes reports has dropped around 12% over the previous year, the NCAVP believes this does not mean that the actual numbers of physical bias attacks lessened last year.  The drop took place because of cut-backs in funding to support reporting at the state and local levels.  Lisa Gilmore of Community United Against Violence, a San Francisco-based organization reporting in this year’s findings, told the Bay Area Reporter, “During the past year, NCAVP member organizations lost crucial staff and programming in the wake of the [national] fiscal crisis…We believe that this drastically limited the ability of LGBTQ people to report violence and access support.”  The NCAVP report made several recommendations for the coming year, including restoring funding to local, state and federal anti-violence programs, community-initiated efforts, and deliberate and consistent inclusion of LGBTQ people in research studies.

July 17, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Bisexual persons, gay men, gay teens, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latino and Latina Americans, Latinos, Law and Order, Legislation, Lesbian women, Matthew Shepard Act, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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