STUDY: LGBT Murder Rate At All-Time High, But Hate-Violence On Wane

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) today released a report on hate violence against LGBT, queer and HIV+ people in the United States. Taking 2011 data from 16 anti-violence programs in 16 states, the study found some surprising results:

  • In 2011, NCAVP documented 30 anti-LGBTQH murders, the highest yearly total ever recorded by the coalition.  This is an 11% increase from the 27 people murdered in 2010. This high murder rate continues a multi-year trend of increases in anti-LGBTQH murders over the past three years of reporting.
  • 87% of the 30 reported hate murder victims in 2011 were LGBTQH people of color.  For a second year in a row, this reflects a disproportionate targeting of people of color for severe and deadly violence and is an increase over 2010 where 70% of the 27 reported hate murder victims were LGBTQH people of color.
  • Transgender women made up 40% of the 30 reported hate murders in 2011, while representing only 10% of total hat- violence survivors and victims.  This was comparable to last year’s report where transgender women made up 44% of the 27 reported hate murders, reflecting a two-year trend toward disproportanate and severe violence faced by transgender women.
  • Youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 years old were 2.41 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to LGBTQH people age 30 and older.
  • In 2011, NCAVP reported 16% fewer incidents of hate violence. Many members saw a decline in reports of violence linked to a corresponding increase in murders, indicating attacks aren’t declining, merely becoming more vicious.

“Murders of LGBTQ people have increased over the last three years, indicating a pattern of escalating violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected people,” said the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Community Center’s Jake Finney. “Those most at risk for murder are transgender and gender non-conforming people, people of color, and gay men.”

These are alarming statistics, to be sure. But it might not be all doom and gloom. It’s possible the rising numbers indicate more victims and families feel comfortable reporting hate violence and murders, and that more resources have become available to track such incidents.

The report’s specific policy recommendations include funding more violence-prevention programs and educating police in responding to LGBT victims.