Astounding findings on anti-LGBTQ violence for 2009.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCVAP) just put out their annual report (pdf.) on violence against the LGBTQ community and the findings are scary. I took a look at the report myself and it seems that overall the reporting of violent crime is down. It is hard to get a sense of exactly how grave the situation is when we know that so much of the violence goes unreported, but if the numbers represent a trend then it is a frightening one.

Furthermore, there is a trend in communities of color who are afflicted with higher rates of violent crime against the LGBTQ community. Of the 22 murders last year 79% of them were people of color and 50% were transgender women. Waymon Hudson writes at Huffington Post,

As evidenced in this report, members of traditionally marginalized communities continue to be disproportionately targeted for severe violence. “These facts are deeply disturbing as these are the same people who are more likely to face discrimination, criminalization or further violence when interacting with criminal legal and social service systems. What we see is that they are less likely to seek and access support from these institutions,” said Maria Carolina Morales, Intervention Director of Community United Against Violence (CUAV) in San Francisco.

The report also covers other causes of crime such as reaction to hate crime legislation and decrease in services for GLBTQ communities due to current economic conditions. They also found that police misconduct towards GLBTQ folks was up from 2008 and this includes false arrests, harassment, entrapment and raids. And finally, that the majority of violent crime is committed by strangers which is just horrifying, as they are generally unpredictable but targeted acts of violence that are impossible to predict and difficult to protect yourself from.

Also, read Jos on why hate crime legislation doesn’t lead to a decrease in violent crime in the LGBTQ community.

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  • tino

    this is a little jaw dropping. But I suppose when you think about it, often the oppressed in turn become oppressors of others…maybe that is what’s happening here. I hope we make some positive progress in the near future.
    As for the actions of the police, this doesn’t surprise me, sadly. If people working in all professions knew more about marginalized groups I would hope they’d act more respectfully towards them. Too bad there’s so little education about this stuff out there (and most of what exists isn’t compulsory at school or work.)

  • s mandisa

    one reason this report is showing higher incidences of anti- trans and queer violence in communities of color is because communities of color are under stricter and more constant police scrutiny, surveillance and are thus more prone to criminalization and stigma.
    whats also sad is that sometimes this is used to perpetuate racist stereo-types that communities of color are more homophobic or transphobic than white communities.
    im clear that this is not what you are saying, but its still something for us to think about as we read these facts.

  • tino

    you’re absolutely right about the police “cracking down” on communities of colour skewing this. definitely it is something to think about.

  • middlechild

    Can you back that up? (I’m not being snarky–do you you have a link or something)? What about attacks that take place in middle class or mixed neighborhoods, albeit perpetrated by POC (perhaps against LGBTQ people or color)? I realize police presence of the poor and POC is higher, but regarding this topic, is it that simple?

  • s mandisa

    i dont take it as snarky. i hope you’re not expecting some university study that will magically “prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that what im saying is valid. because nothing thats simple. i have books, not links. the 1st is “policing the national body” published by south end press. it very thoroughly documents the increase in criminalization and policing of certain bodies and hows its a means of population control. the INCITE! anthology (also by South-End Press), particularly the articles that deal with criminalization and/or policing of women of color talk about this surveillence. it seems u are really invested in hard data and they have links to the kind of studies you seem to be looking for. dorothy roberts’ “killing the black body” has some interesting information, but you might ask her the same question.
    And to answer the 2nd portion of your question, no-nothings that simple. when i mentioned about higher police presence in communities of color, i was alluding to that complexity. to be clear, im not saying that trans and queer folks dont experience violence in racially mixed or middle class communities, but I AM saying that no matter what community the anti-trans and queer violence takes place, because of systemic racism throughout this country, including but not limited to law enforcement and media, violence perpetrated by POC is more visible than violence by white people (it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if i think POC are more violent and dangerous, I then place myself where there are more POC [which by no coincidence tends to be where there is more poverty, lack of resources, and governmental neglect], and I find the violence because thats what Im looking for in the first place). Its also important to point out that law enforcement violence against trans and queer POC then goes invisible as well. so as a community becomes hyper-visible, more vulnerable members in our community become more invisible. INCITE! has an entire campaign about it.