By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 01 2012 1:39 PM ET
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has identified 30 murders motivated by bias against LGBT and HIV-affected people in the U.S. last year, the largest number ever recorded by the coalition, and 87% of the victims were people of color.
The coalition documented these crimes in a report it released Thursday, “Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2011.” The report features data from antiviolence programs in 16 states.
The number of murders was up from 27 in 2010, an 11% increase. The murder rate has risen over the past three years of reporting. There was a 16% decrease in overall incidents of violence, perhaps reflecting a decrease in reporting more than an actual decrease in crime. “In Detroit, an increase in the severity of violence and particularly murders made it challenging for us to find the capacity to do outreach, which can lead to a decrease in reports,” said Nusrat Ventimiglia of Equality Michigan, in the coalition’s press release on its report.
The proportion of murders in which victims were people of color was up from 70% in 2010. Transgender women continued to represent a disproportionate number of murder victims, 40% in 2011 versus 44% in 2010. Young people were at high risk for violence in general, as the report found people between the ages of 18 and 30 were 2.41 times as likely to experience violence as those 30 and older. Transgender people and people of color were also more likely to be victims of violence than the overall population of LGBT and HIV-affected people.
To address violence, the coalition makes these recommendations: increase funding for LGBTQH antiviolence support and prevention; end police profiling and police violence against LGBTQH people; end the root causes of anti-LGBTQH violence by reducing poverty in LGBTQH communities and systemic discrimination in laws, policies, employment, public services, and education; end the homophobic, transphobic, and biphobic culture that fuels hate violence; and collect data and expand research on LGBTQH communities’ experiences of violence.
The full report is available at the coalition’s website.