NATIONAL — Today the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released its report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Intimate Partner Violence in the United States in 2010. The report recommends increased support for programs serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV-affected (LGBTQH) survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Additionally, NCAVP was presented with a $25,000 grant from Verizon Wirelessto increase access and support for LGBTQH victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
In 2010, NCAVP programs received 5,052 reports of IPV, an increase of 38.1% from the 3,658 reports in 2009. The LA Gay & Lesbian Center (LAGLC) received additional funding for their IPV programming, accounting for a significant portion of the increase in reported numbers nationwide. “In 2010 we were able to hire a dedicated staff person to focus on gathering information about local IPV incidents,” said Susan Holt, Program Manager, STOP Partner Abuse/Domestic Violence Program at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. “The increase in reports of intimate partner violence during this time demonstrates the tremendous impact that increased funding can have in allowing anti-violence programs to better support LGBTQH IPV survivors.”
The 2010 report highlights a number of disturbing trends. This year’s report shows an increase in the severity of violence experienced by LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of intimate partner violence. In 2010, more than half of survivors (55.4%) experienced physical violence at the hands of their abusive partners, a substantial increase from 2009 (36.5%). “Survivors can be subject to many types of violence by abusive partners, including threats, outing, stalking and physical attacks. This year’s escalation in physical violence demonstrates the real danger that LGBTQH people face in violent relationships,” said Kelly Clark, Community Safety Program Director from the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. “This rise in severity demonstrates the critical need for mainstream service providers and first responders such as the police, emergency responders, medical providers, counseling services, legal services and domestic violence shelters to have LGBTQH-specific competency.”
NCAVP documented six IPV deaths in 2010 consistent with the six documented murders in 2009. Of these six victims, four identified as female. “We are deeply concerned by this ongoing high level of reported deaths,” said Tre’Andre Valentine, the Director of Organizing and Education at the Network/La Red. “As of this report’s release, NCAVP has already documented and responded to seven LGBTQH IPV deaths in 2011. This alarming statistic shows the critical need for intimate partner violence prevention programs and campaigns.” NCAVP is also releasing Voices of Victims and Survivors: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence Narratives 2010. This additional narrative brings to light the severity of IPV within LGBTQH communities, in hopes of raising awareness and increasing the ability for LGBTQH community members, and allies, to understand IPV.
The 2010 report indicates that LGBTQH survivors of IPV encounter a lack of access to safety and support when they experience violence. More survivors in 2010 (44.6%) were turned away from shelter than in 2009 (34.8%). Additionally, in 2010, NCAVP saw 54.4% of survivors seeking an order of protection were denied one. “Lack of access to shelters and other supportive services increases a survivor’s risk of immediate danger and puts their lives at risk at a critical moment,” said Chai Jindasurat, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Policymakers need to increase support and safety for LGBTQH survivors by preventing all service providers from discriminating against survivors based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Additionally, fewer survivors called the police. In 2010, 7.1% of survivors called the police for support, a decrease from 2009 where 21.7% of survivors called the police, indicating reluctance on the part of LGBTQH survivors to seek assistance from law enforcement. “Community-based organizations should create programs and campaigns focused on the prevention of LGBTQH intimate partner violence that work within communities, such as community accountability programs, as well as those that work within the criminal legal system,” said Lisa Gilmore, Director of Education and Victim Advocacy at Center on Halsted in Chicago. “The greater number of options we create to address this violence, the more LGBTQH people we will be able to reach.”
Now, NCAVP and Verizon Wireless have teamed up to raise awareness about the vital necessity for domestic and sexual abuse organizations nationwide to address the needs of LGBTQH victims and survivors.
“The results of this report tell us that there is work that needs to be done in order to serve the needs of the LGBTQH communities,” said Elva Lima, executive director, community relations at Verizon Wireless. “We are proud to partner with NCAVP and support a program that will train organizations across the country to help them make a difference for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence.”
This report is a product of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a coalition of 38 anti-violence organizations. Seventeen anti-violence programs in 14 states across the country—including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin—contributed data to this report. A complete version of the report is available online.
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 local member programs, affiliate organizations and individuals 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 a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.
*Contributors and Regional Media Contacts
LA Gay & Lesbi an Center (LAGLC) Anti-Violence Project (Los Angeles, CA) Contact Susan Holt (323) firstname.lastname@example.org