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May 19, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 20
 
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Annual report on anti-LGBT hate violence released
Annual report on anti-LGBT hate violence released
"...[T]he nation's LGBT communities had entered a very new, and very dangerous era..."

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) and fourteen of its members across the country released its annual report on violence against Lesbians, Gay men, Bisexual people and Transgender individuals. The 78-page report examines data compiled from almost 2,000 hate-related incidents in thirteen cities, states and regions across the country including: the Chicago area, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, Colorado, Houston, Texas, Kansas City, Missouri, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Minnesota, the New York City area, Pennsylvania, the San Francisco Bay area, and Vermont. Additional information was included from St. Louis, Missouri.

NCAVP's report is the most complete examination of such violence against LGBT people. Each year, the FBI publishes its own report on hate crimes, which includes anti-LGBT incidents, but it consistently contains information on far fewer cases than the NCAVP publication because it relies on law enforcement reports of such crimes rather than victim service organization data, a deficiency recently cited in a U.S. Department of Justice publication.

Overall, NCAVP's report noted a 13% decrease in reported incidents of anti-LGBT violence. Such incidents fell from 2,270 in 2004 to 1,985 in 2005. Included the decline in incidents for the year, was a 15% decrease in anti-LGBT murders in reporting regions; such murders fell from 13 in 2004 to 11 in 2005. During 2005, the total number of victims also fell - 12%, from 2,617 in 2004 to 2,301 in 2005. Of the thirteen locations included in main body of the report, all but Cleveland, Houston, Massachusetts, and Vermont reported declines. According to the report, the number of anti-LGBT violence offenders fell as well, but only at half the rate of decline of victims and incidents, or 6%, from 3,450 in 2004 to 3,245 in 2005.

The data in the report is submitted to NCAVP for analysis and derived from a common intake tool NCAVP's members utilize when directly serving victims of violence at their agencies, which are primarily, local LGBT victim service organizations

According to NCAVP representatives, the data collected in for 2005 showed that in a relatively quiet year for the LGBT community reports of anti-LGBT violence declined. The decline comes after dramatic increases in anti-LGBT hate incidents noted by the organization in 2003 and 2004 as the nation grappled with significant victories and defeats for LGBT people such as the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas, the granting of same-sex marriage rights in Massachusetts, anti-same-sex marriage ballot initiatives in numerous states, the Presidential and Congressional threat of a federal marriage amendment, and the demonization of the LGBT community and families during the 2004 election cycle. For instance, after rising only 3% in the first six months of 2003, reports of anti-LGBT violence to NCAVP member organizations jumped 26% after the Lawrence decision and the Massachusetts marriage debate. Such reports rose another 4% in NCAVP's report on anti-LGBT violence in 2004.

"This year's report can be viewed as an has to be viewed as an indication that after almost two years of wholesale attack on LGBT individuals, communities and families, 2005 offered a respite of sorts for our community's experience with hate violence," said Clarence Patton, NCAVP leader and executive director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. "In the last two editions of this report was all too clear that with respect to violence, the nation's LGBT communities had entered a very new, and very dangerous era in which all of us were under attack at levels not seen in recent years," continued Patton.

"However, no one working with the victims of anti-LGBT violence believes that 2005 presents a permanent condition for our community. The fact is that LGBT people are once again slated to be "on the ballot" again in a number of states in the 2006 election season and Senator Frist (the Senate Majority Leader) plans to take action on the Federal Marriage Amendment in early June, setting off another round of political bashing of our community that will no doubt be accompanied by the cultural and physical bashing we experienced across the country in 2003 and 2004," concluded Patton.

PDF versions of the 2005 Report, its Executive Summary, and previous editions of NCAVP's reports on hate-motivated and domestic violence are available at: www.ncavp.org

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) addresses the pervasive problem of violence committed against and within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) and HIV-positive communities. NCAVP is a coalition of programs that document and advocate for victims of anti-LGBT and anti-HIV/AIDS violence/harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, police misconduct and other forms of victimization. NCAVP is dedicated to creating a national response to the violence plaguing these communities. Further, NCAVP supports existing anti-violence organizations and emerging local programs in their efforts to document and prevent such violence.

For additional or regional contact information, call 212-714-1184, x22.



A NCAVP press release

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