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2011 Report on Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the U.S. Released Today

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

  • Organization: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
  • Source: New York > Family Justice/DV

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), in a national audio press conference today, released its report Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected (LGBTQH) Communities in the United States in 2011.  NCAVP collected data concerning intimate partner violence within LGBTQH relationships from anti-violence programs in 22 states across the country, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington, as well as from the District of Columbia.

In 2011, NCAVP documented 19 intimate partner violence (IPV) homicides, the highest yearly total ever recorded by the coalition and more than three times the 6 documented homicides in 2010. Of the 19 homicide victims, a majority (63.2%) of IPV homicide victims were men, a significant shift from 2010 when 66.7% of LGBTQH homicide victims identified as women.  “This year’s report indicates that men are disproportionately victims of homicide in incidents of intimate partner violence,” said Gary Heath, Domestic Violence Program Coordinator at the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) in Ohio.  “NCAVP’s report shows that the societal understanding of IPV survivors needs to expand to include gay men.” 

“It is not surprising that these homicides tended to be reported in regions where NCAVP member organizations are located,” said Tre’Andre Valentine, the Director of Organizing and Education at the Network/La Red in Boston, Massachusetts.  “LGBTQH-specific anti-violence programs are more likely to recognize the signs of intimate partner violence, which law enforcement may overlook, and can document these homicides because we spend every day raising awareness about the issue of LGBTQH intimate partner violence.” 

The 2011 report also highlights a number of disturbing trends concerning the severity of violence experienced by LGBTQH people.  This year’s report shows that LGBTQH people under 30 were approaching two times (1.59) as likely to experience physical violence.  Within this vulnerable population, LGBTQH people of color under 30 were nearly 4 times (3.98) as likely to experience physical violence.  “We need more programs and services focused on LGBTQH youth and youth of color,” said Sandhya Luther Director of Advocacy at the Colorado Anti-Violence Program (CAVP).  “These findings underscore the need for policymakers and funders to fund LGBTQH anti-violence organizations to conduct intimate partner violence prevention initiatives, particularly prevention programs for youth and young adults.”

In 2011, NCAVP programs received 3,930 reports of intimate partner violence, a decrease of 22.2% from 2010.  This decrease was due to a substantial 42.7% decrease in reports from the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center (LAGLC), which lost funding and staff for their IPV programming, reducing the number of LGBTQH intimate partner violence survivors from whom they collected reports.  Excluding LAGLC’s reports, there was an 18.3% increase in reports of LGBTQH IPV nationwide.  “The decrease in overall reports of intimate partner violence this year, due to the IPV funding that we lost here at LAGLC, demonstrates the tremendous impact that funding has in allowing anti-violence programs to reach LGBTQH IPV survivors,” said Terra Slavin, DV Lead Staff Attorney at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.  “We need legislation such as the reauthorization of an LGBTQ-inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that will help ensure that all people experiencing intimate partner violence –including LGBTQ-identified survivors receive access to life-saving support and services.”

The report found that LGBTQH people faced other barriers to services as well.  More survivors in 2011 (61.6%) reported being denied access to shelter than in 2010 (44.6%).  This continues a two-year trend of increases in shelter access denials.  “Lack of access to shelters and other supportive services increases a survivor’s risk of immediate danger and puts their lives at risk,” said Lisa Gilmore, Director of Education and Victim Advocacy at Center on Halsted in Chicago, Illinois.  “We are calling on policymakers to institute LGBTQH-specific non-discrimination provisions to increase support and safety for all survivors and to put an end to discriminatory laws and policies that currently increase barriers and decrease safety for LGBTQH survivors when seeking support.” 

"This report is ultimately a tool for policymakers, funders, and advocates to use to address LGBTQH intimate partner violence," said Chai Jindasurat, NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project.  "Our recommendations and best practices offer specific solutions for increasing life-saving support for survivors, reaching LGBTQH IPV survivors, and shifting the ways in which we address intimate partner violence in the U.S. to prevent and end this violence.” 

The report’s specific policy recommendations include calling for the following changes:

• Pass an LGBTQ-inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that protects survivors from service discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and recognizes LGBTQ communities as under-served.
• Fund LGBTQH intimate partner violence prevention initiatives, particularly for youth and young adults.
• Support LGBTQH training and technical assistance programs to increase the cultural competency of all victim service providers
• Increase local, state, and national funding to LGBTQH-specific anti-violence programs, particularly for survivor-led initiatives.
• Increase research and documentation of LGBTQH intimate partner violence.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) communities.  NCAVP is a national coalition of 41 local member programs and affiliate organizations in 22 states, Canada, and Washington DC, who create systemic and social change.  We strive to increase power, safety, and resources through data analysis, policy advocacy, education, and technical assistance. 

NCAVP is coordinated by the New York City Anti-Violence Project. To download the full report, visit NCAVP online.

 

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