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NCAVP reports rise in Hate Crimes against LGBT in 2010

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For those of us hoping the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act would help curb anti-LGBTQ violence the results of a new study by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) shows a different, disturbing trend. From the press release:

NCAVP collected data concerning hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected people, from 17 anti- violence programs in 15 states across the country including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin.
In 2010, NCAVP documented 27 anti-LGBTQ murders, the second highest yearly total ever recorded by the coalition. This is a 23% increase from the 22 people murdered in 2009.

70% of the 27 reported hate murder victims in 2010 were LGBTQ and HIV-affected people of color, which represented 44% of total survivors and victims. This reflects a disproportionate targeting of people of color for severe and deadly violence. As well, people of color were less likely to receive medical attention when they needed it and less likely to receive appropriate responses from the police.

Transgender women made up 44% of the 27 reported hate murders in 2010, while representing only 11% of total survivors and victims. As well, transgender people were more likely to have injuries as a result of attacks and less likely to receive medical care.
More on the report from Sonja Sharp at Huffington Post:
Although the federal government passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009, most states still lack laws protecting LGBTQ individuals from crimes outside federal jurisdiction. Only 31 states and the District of Columbia have laws specifically designating sexual orientation-based hate crimes, and only 12 in addition to Washington, D.C. have laws specific to trans-people, according to an unreleased report by the Human Rights Campaign obtained by The Huffington Post.

The number of LGBTQ hate crime killings rose sharply in 2007, and has remained elevated since then, peaking in 2008 and again in 2010. Like other violent crime, hate crimes against gays and lesbians appear most common in the summer, the study reported.

Transgendered women and people of color were the most common targets of hate violence -- and the most likely to die of it, the study found. Milwaukee sex worker Chanel Larkin was shot three times in the head last May after a john discovered she was transgendered. The coalition pointed to similar slayings across the county and in Puerto Rico.
It is rare to hear that the federal hate crimes law is being brought to bear in the prosecution of any hate crimes. Much more needs to be done to curb violence against our community.

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