NCAVP report: 2016 the deadliest year for anti-LGBT violence
On June 12 the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released its 20th annual report Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016. For this report – the most comprehensive of its kind – NCAVP collected data on 1,036 incidents of hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people from 12 local NCAVP member organizations in 11 states. States reporting were: Arizona, California, Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
For twenty years, NCAVP has released reports on the pervasive and sometimes deadly hate violence perpetrated against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. The NCAVP LGBTQ and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016 report is being released at a time when the executive branch of our government is hostile to our communities; sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation is advancing in states across the nation; and existing protections are being rolled back, leaving already vulnerable communities even more susceptible to violence. NCAVP has compiled this report to address the nature and frequency of this violence and who it affects. “Recent executive orders as well as ongoing efforts to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation and roll back protections at the city, state, and federal level make LGBTQ people vulnerable to identity-based discrimination as we go about our daily lives,” said Beverly Tillery at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “These attacks on our communities send the message that discrimination and violence against LGBTQ people is acceptable. Every one of us must call out and resist religious exemption and anti-LGBTQ public accommodation bills for the hateful legislation that they are, and advocate for increased protections for LGBTQ communities on the state and federal level.”
NCAVP is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its annual hate violence reports with a call to action to all people working to end hate motivated violence against LGBTQ communities.
2016 was the deadliest year on record for the LGBTQ community
The year 2016 was the deadliest year on record for LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, and once again, LGBTQ people of color and transgender and gender non-conforming people were most impacted by deadly violence. NCAVP recorded 77 total hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in 2016, including the 49 mostly LGBTQ and Latinx lives lost in the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June of 2016. Outside of those lives lost during the shooting at Pulse Nightclub, there were 28 homicides of LGBTQ people, an increase of 17% from 24 in 2015.
Of the 28 reported non-Pulse hate violence homicides:
- 79% were people of color: 18 people were Black and 4 were Latinx.
- 19 (68%) were transgender and gender non-conforming people, and 17 were transgender women of color.
In 2016, NCAVP responded to the hate violence homicides of 21* transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) people in total.
“The enormous tragedy at Pulse Nightclub, in concert with the daily violence and discrimination that pervades our lives as LGBTQ people and an incendiary political climate, have created a perfect storm of fear and trauma for our communities this year,” said Melissa Brown at the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project. “We must work to dismantle the biases, such as transphobia, biphobia, homophobia and racism, which undergird all of this violence.”
Hate violence happens every day
While many LGBTQ and HIV-affected people experience street-based violence and harassment, LGBTQ and HIV-affected people also experience violence daily in their workplaces, schools, and homes. The majority of survivors reporting hate violence to NCAVP member programs in 2016 experienced violence by someone they know, including landlords, neighbors, employers, and family members.
- Nearly half of survivors reported experiencing violence in either a private residence or a workplace.
- Latinx survivors were 2.6 times more likely than non-Latinx survivors to experience violence by an employer.
- Survivors with disabilities were two times more likely to experience violence in a private residence than people without disabilities.
“The most common perception of hate violence is that it happens randomly and is perpetrated by strangers in public spaces, but that’s not the full story. Our reports show that hate violence for LGBTQ people is a day-to-day reality, perpetrated by people we know and in places where we spend most of our time,” said Aaron Eckhardt at Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization. “Everyone must advocate in their local communities, schools, and places of employment to ensure that all LGBTQ people have access to resources to thrive.”
Hate violence affects survivors at the intersections of their identities
LGBTQ people hold diverse and intersecting identities, and hate violence affects survivors at the intersections of their identities. Additionally, the risk of hate violence often increases for those who hold multiple marginalized identities. NCAVP’s 2016 Report found:
- 60% of LGBTQ survivors self-identified as people of color.
- 15% of LGBTQ survivors who chose to share their documentation status were undocumented.
- Black LGBTQ survivors were nearly 3 times more likely to experience excessive force from police than survivors who did not identify as Black.
“We can no longer address anti-LGBTQ violence as a problem that exists in isolation, apart from other forms of hate violence and discrimination. To do so risks obscuring the tremendous diversity and intersectional identities within our communities,” said Lidia Salazar at Community United Against Violence. “At a time where so many of us are at risk in this nation due to the identities we hold, LGBTQ people must be in solidarity with all movements working towards liberation and self-determination of people impacted by oppression and violence.”
Hate violence happens everywhere, including online
In 2016 the percentage of survivors who experienced harassment via the internet or by phone increased from 9% to 13%. Though it may seem more removed than other forms of violence, online harassment can have just as much of an impact on survivors’ lives. Hateful words or targeted threats can be difficult for survivors to avoid when they happen online through social media, and can cause stress and trauma in survivors’ daily lives. Additionally, online hate violence affects LGBTQ people differently based on their identities. The 2016 NCAVP Report found:
- Transgender and gender non-conforming survivors were 2.8 times more likely to experience violence via the internet or by phone than cisgender survivors.
- Latinx survivors were 4.5 times more likely to experience violence online compared to non-Latinx survivors.
“LGBTQ communities have always used the Internet as a way to create and share community across distance and ability in a way that has often been beautiful, creative, and community-building,” said Jessica Punzo at Center on Halsted. “As our lives and communities continue to move online, we must realize that online harassment has a real impact on the lives of survivors and begin to address the ways anti-LGBTQ violence shows up in online spaces.”
LGBTQ people experience violence at the hands of the police
LGBTQ people often do not report the violence they experience to the police, and when they do, they sometimes experience additional violence. In 2016, of the survivors who interacted with the police:
- 66% said that the police were indifferent or hostile.
- 52 survivors reported that they experienced police misconduct after the initial incident of violence, including excessive force, unjustified arrest, entrapment, and raids.
“LGBTQ people experience transphobia and homophobia in interactions with the police and criminal legal system, which may deter them from reporting the violence they experience,” said Catarina Campbell at SafeSpace Program at the Pride Center of Vermont. “We must continue to work to reform policing practices towards LGBTQ communities while also pursuing other accountability mechanisms, such as community accountability models, so that survivors who are reluctant to interact with the criminal legal system are able to access support and justice.”
Expand healing and justice beyond hate crimes legislation
For decades, the most commonly proposed solution to end hate violence has been hate crimes legislation and enhanced penalties. However, hate crimes legislation alone will not address the many ways that homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and other forms of oppression play out in our communities – in our workplaces, schools, and homes – which are reflected within NCAVP’s report.
“Anti-LGBTQ hate violence doesn’t always fit the framework of a “hate crime,” but that doesn’t mean the effects of violence are any less difficult for survivors. Furthermore, LGBTQ communities cannot solely rely on hate crimes legislation and the criminal legal system, as this system is a source of violence and criminalization for many in our communities,” said Stacie Vecchietti at the Virginia Anti-Violence Project. “We must move beyond defining hate violence solely through the lens of hate crimes, and expand the possibilities available for healing and justice.”
With this report, we lift up survivors, and we lift up and celebrate all of the diverse, loving experiences of LGBTQ communities. “In order to end violence, we must shift culture to be loving and affirming of LGBTQ communities. While we recognize that violence against LGBTQ people is a pervasive reality, it does not define us,” said Emily Waters at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “The visibility of anti-LGBTQ violence is important, but equally necessary are stories of LGBTQ people thriving and living their truths. Presenting these positive ways of existing in the world opens the door for everyone to live their uniquely full selves.” To find out how to turn this report’s data into action, read NCAVP’s call to action to all people working to end hate motivated violence against LGBTQ communities.