By Zach Childree
Last year was the second highest year on record for murders of LGBT and HIV-affected communities, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Coalition Of Anti-Violence Programs. The study focused on 17 anti violence programs in 15 states, including Michigan.
Hate violence incident data provided to NCAVP in 2010 showed a 13 percent increase in reports of violence since 2009.
“Perhaps more disturbingly, it shows a very clear increase in the reports of the severity of physical violence used during the hate motivated incidents,” said Lisa Gilmore, Director of Education and Victim Advocacy for the Center on Halstead in Chicago at a press conference on Tuesday.
The study reported 27 hate-motivated murders in 2010, which is an increase from 22 hate-motivated murders in 2009.
Many of last year’s 27 murders were against transgender women (70 percent) and gay men of color (44 percent).
“Transgender individuals and people of color face multiple forms of discrimination on the basis of race, gender identity and other factors, which can make them more vulnerable to severe violence,” said Maria Carolina Morales, from Community United Against Violence in San Francisco. “In this report, we continue to grieve the many LGBT lives that are cut painfully short by violence.”
The report also makes recommendations for changes in policy, increasing anti-violence campaigns, collecting data on sexual orientation and gender identity and calls for an increase in funding for studies dealing with violence against the LGBT and HIV-affected communities. The report also encourages politicians and celebrities to denounce anti-LGBT violence.
“The findings of this report are troubling and reveal a need for the serious commitment of organizations, institutions, funders and policymakers towards research and the prevention of violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals,” said Sandhya Luther from the Colorado Anti-Violence Program in Denver. “Our recommendations represent crucial steps for ending violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in this country.”
The report also featured real stories of victims of anti-LGBT violence, such as a California transgender man who was attacked in a university bathroom. His attackers carved the word “it” into his forehead, but police didn’t recognize the word as an anti-transgender slur.