US: Crimes against gay and trans community are getting more violent

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A report released yesterday has shown that the number of attacks against LGBT individuals in the US remains steady, but with a substantial increase in the severity of violence.

The report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs revealed that the number of attacks against LGBT individuals in the US has remained fairly consistent with a total number of 2,001 incidences being reported in 2013, only slightly down from 2,016 in 2012.

Though the number of attacks remained fairly consistent, with an actual decrease in the number of anti-LGBT homicides dropping from 25 in 2012 to 18 in 2013, the number of physically violent attacks increased by 21%.

Findings in the report show that LGBT people of colour still remain disproportionately affected by anti-LGBT violence and represent almost 90% of all homicide victims in 2013, while 72% of homicide victims were transgender women and 67% were transgender women of colour.

Aaron Eckhardt, of the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization in Ohio, stressed the impact that multiple forms of discrimination have on violent attacks against the community. He said: “What emerges clearly in the findings of this year’s report is that many of the people at risk for the most severe hate violence are at the intersection of multiple forms of oppression and discrimination including racism and citizenship status.”

The report also showed that undocumented survivors were 3.5 times more likely to experience violence and LGBT and HIV-affected people of colour were 1.5 times more likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBT survivors.

Police interaction with survivors was also highlighted in this year’s report. Only 45% of survivors in 2013 reported attacks to the police, showing a decrease from 56% in 2012. Also reported were negative interactions with police when survivors reported attacks, with one-in-three victims reporting hostile attitudes from law enforcement, up from 27% in 2012.

Osman Ahmed, of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said: “This year’s report makes it unequivocally clear that more must be done to stop this hate violence, and NCAVP’s policy recommendations can serve as a road map.”

Mr Ahmed called on policymakers, advocates, and community members to be a part of the solution that NCAVP recommends in this year’s report.

The full report can be read here.