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Report Victim Services Neglect LGBT People

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Widespread gaps in services exist nationwide for LGBT people who are victimized by crime, according to a new report from the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

The report, released Wednesday, resulted from a 2009 nationwide survey of mainstream victim assistance providers and antiviolence programs serving LGBT people. It found deficiencies in services, outreach, and training geared toward LGBT crime victims as well as wide variations in the types of services available. The report is called, "Why It Matters: Rethinking Victim Assistance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Victims of Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence."

"The Why It Matters survey found that LGBTQ victims do not have consistent access to culturally competent services to prevent or help victims recover from violence," according to a news release from the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

"For example, most respondent organizations lack outreach to LGBTQ victims, LGBTQ cultural competence training for staff, LGBTQ-specific victim services policies and practices, and collaboration with LGBTQ providers. Too often, mainstream victim assistance agencies do not provide a culturally sensitive response to these victims, and LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs either lack resources to meet the need or simply do not exist. As a result, LGBTQ victims suffer disproportionately from violence and its aftereffects.

"The report recommends increased support for LGBTQ-focused training, education, and prevention for service providers and first responders, as well as further study to determine the specific needs of LGBTQ victims and the prevalence of crimes against them. It also recommends increased collaboration among LGBTQ anti-violence programs and mainstream victim assistance providers, changes to ensure equal access to state and federal protections for LGBTQ crime victims, outreach to increase public awareness of the extent and impact of the victimization of this community, and increased state and federal funding for these efforts."

Download the full report here.

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