REPORT: Anti-Gay Violent Crimes In 2009

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs today issued their annual report on the reported violent crimes against LGBT people in 2009. The news isn’t great.

Anti-LGBTQ hate violence continues to be a pervasive social problem at the same time as vital resources and support for hate violence survivors are at risk amidst economic crisis. This year, 22 victims of hate murder were reported by NCAVP, the second-highest rate in a decade, reflecting a pattern of severe and persistent violence against LGBTQ communities. Notably, NCAVP saw the highest spike in reported incidents of violence in October 2009, coinciding with the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This statistic seems to reflect a correlation between increased visibility and increased vulnerability and targeting. Despite these disturbing trends, financial support and much needed services for hate violence survivors have only declined due to ongoing economic conditions.

Of the 22 reported hate murder victims in 2009, 79% were people of color, and most were transgender women or were feminine-presenting. As evidenced in this report, members of traditionally marginalized communities continue to be disproportionately targeted for severe violence. “These facts are deeply disturbing as these are the same people who are more likely to face discrimination, criminalization or further violence when interacting with criminal legal and social service systems. What we see is that they are less likely to seek and access support from these institutions,” said Maria Carolina Morales, Intervention Director of Community United Against Violence (CUAV) in San Francisco.

The report stresses that since many of the coalition’s member groups suffering funding cuts last year, an unknown number of violent crimes probably went unreported and uninvestigated.

RELATED: The New York City Council has declared today a “Day of Solidarity” with the LGBT community in Puerto Rico following the seventh murder of a gay person there in 2010. The City Council denounced the “unacceptable, deafening silence from Puerto Rican authorities in response to the brutal violence and murders” of LGBT people.