BY AJ Trager
MICHIGAN – A new report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), titled Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2013, shows a decline in reporting survivors for the second year in a row in Michigan. However, the decrease in reports is due in part to a reduction of Equality Michigan staff during the final quarter of 2013.
Michigan’s numbers remained similar to those found in the NCAVP national numbers. The majority of victims and survivors that identified as cisgender, gay and male all decreased by a small amount. Women-identified victims and survivors remained steady, however, taking into consideration the reduced number of reports received in 2013, it actually meant the number of women-identified survivors and victims had increased.
The report broke the stats down by race and age as well. Reports received by survivors under the age of 30 remained similar year to year, decreasing only by five reports to 39; however, reports by survivors over the age of 30 years more than doubled from 22 in 2012 to 47 in 2013.
White survivors and victims accounted for the majority of reports made to the agency, totaling 58 percent. Black victims and survivors were the second largest reporting group at 19.75 percent. Latina survivors remained in the same margins as last year, with four reports. The Arab/Middle Eastern survivors increased by two reports and Asian/Pacific Islander survivors increased by one report.
Anti-transgender bias nearly doubled in 2013 from nine reported in 2012 to 17 reports last year. The vast majority of anti-transgender incidents reported were committed against transgender women – 14 of the 17 reported for the year – one of whom was brutally murdered and stuffed in a garbage dumpster. The NCAVP seeks to implement increased programming that aims to demythologize the trans experience and eliminate the root causes of violence as a way to combat anti-transgender violence acround the country.
Predators And Social Media
Social media has played a role in the ways predators target LGBT people. There was a 50 percent increase of anti-HIV bias incidents from 2012, which generally entails outing someone’s HIV status to coworkers, family, friends or the world via social media. HIV-shaming is highly invasive and is criminally punishable.
Predators have also been targeting gay men on “hook-up” sites with the intent to blackmail or to steal their identities. This past year Equality Michigan collaborated with local and federal authorities to bring justice to a youth survivor that was threatened, stalked, harassed and forced to perform sexual acts for the benefit of an online predator.
In the workplace LGBT people can be fired for being who they are and, as in previous years, harassment and discrimination by an employer and/or coworker remained steady at 29.8 percent of all known offenders. Second comes landlord and tenant incidents at 20.9 percent and acquaintance/friend reports at 17.9 percent of all known offenders.
In the year ahead, Equality Michigan will look to increase education of mainstream organizations, including law enforcement and service providers, target outreach to the most marginalized community members and continue to build collaborative relationships with Michigan community partners. But as the findings show, we have a long way to go.