BY BTL STAFF
NATIONAL – The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released their 2013 report on intimate partner violence (IPV) and it shows a continuing increase in IPV towards LGBT people.
The team collected 2,697 reports from 17 different states, including Michigan, and revealed 21 reported IPV homicides. That number is up significantly from 19 instances in 2011 and is three times as high as the six documented cases from 2010.
For the third year, gay men were disproportionately affected by IPV homicides with 76 percent of reported cases resulting from gay male victims. The 2013 report showed a small increase in IPV survivors identifying as gay at 42.8 percent; which is slightly higher than the 2012 findings.
“We are deeply concerned about the continued record high number of intimate partner violence homicides that occurred this year, which is part of a three-year trend in high homicide rates affecting our communities,” said Justin Shaw, executive director of Kansas City Anti-Violence Project. “The truly alarming number of gay men killed due to intimate partner violence indicates a need to expand the national discourse around intimate partner violence, to ensure that it includes gay men, bisexual people, transgender, and gender non-conforming people. This is a crisis that affects everyone.”
LGBT and HIV-affected people of color remained the majority of intimate partner survivors at 50.2 percent of those who reported. This group was also more likely to report physical violence, discrimination, threats or intimidation, and harassment as a result of partner violence, and was more likely to experience this in public spaces.
“People of color make up the majority of LGBTQ survivors and are disproportionately impacted by domestic violence within relationships. This is a national wakeup call,” said Mary Case from the Los Angeles LGBT Center in a press release on the IPV report. “There is an obvious need to support programs and services that are focused on this group of intimate partner violence survivors – people of color who identify as LGBTQ and/or are affected by HIV.”
Transgender survivors were reported at 1.9 times more likely to face physical violence, 3.9 times more likely to face discrimination due to IPV and 1.5 times more likely to be injured in public spaces.
“Transgender people face increased risk of violence because of discrimination based on their gender identity and transphobia within intimate partnerships,” said M.E. Quinn from The Network/La Red in Boston, a survivor-led, social justice organization that works to end LGBTQ partner abuse. “To really address the needs of transgender survivors, we need to address transphobic laws, policies, and institutions while also providing supportive programs that address transgender people explicitly and that engage transgender survivors in preventing this violence.”
Undocumented survivors were 2.9 times more likely to experience discrimination within PIV relationships. Norio Umezu from Community United Against Violence says the abusive partners often threaten their immigration status.
Additional reports on survivor statistics found that bisexual survivors were 1.6 times more likely to experience sexual violence, 2.2 times more likely to experience physical violence and 2.6 times more likely than their straight counterparts to be injured as a result of IPV. The NCAVP’s 2013 data reinforces the findings of the National Intimate Partner Violence Survey (NISVS), a prevalence study on IPV in LGB communities that was published by the Center for Disease Control in 2010. The NISVS revealed that 61 percent of bisexual women and 37 percent of bisexual men experience rape, physical violence and/or stalking in their lifetimes within IPV.
Thirty-eight percent of survivors of reported IPV were between the ages of 19 and 29 and found that age group to be more likely to experience injury and require medical attention.
The record suggests that policymakers and funders fund LGBTQ and HIV-affected specific IPV prevention initiatives support early intervention and prevention programs for youth, enact compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform to reduce barriers for LGBT and HIV-affected immigrant survivors and ensure that the federal government collects information on sexual orientation and gender identity whenever demographic data is requested in studies, surveys and research; and the Office on Violence Against Women should continue to implement the LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act to improve access to services for LGBT and HIV-affected survivors of IPV.