Report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence in the United States Released Today
October 26, 2010
LGBTQ domestic and intimate partner violence reports rise by 15% since 2008; Murder rate up 50% since 2007; Economic crisis and anti-LGBTQ discrimination present barriers for survivors
NATIONAL— The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) today released the Report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence in the United States in 2009. The Report found that LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence reports rose 15% since 2008 and is a pervasive social problem at a time when LGBTQ-specific programs were losing staff or closing altogether due to the economic crisis. In 2009, NCAVP documented 6 murders related to LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence, representing a 50% rise since 2007.
“NCAVP member programs face sharp increases in calls from LGBTQ survivors while sustaining 50% or more in cuts to staffing and programs closures because of the financial crisis,” said Lisa Gilmore of the Center on Halsted Anti-Violence Project, “We know that LGBTQ survivors need specific and culturally competent services to stay safe and our primary recommendation in this Report is that funding for LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs is needed now more than ever.”
LGBTQ survivors reported that from 2008 to 2009, there was a 99% increase in calls for police assistance, with a 135% increase in arrests being made; however during this same time, reports of misarrest were up 144% and reports of police misconduct rose 74%. “NCAVP knows that the police are 10 to 15 times as likely to make a dual arrest in cases of same-sex domestic/intimate partner violence than in heterosexual ones,” said Kelly Clark at the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley’s Community Safety Program, “This Report demonstrates the critical need for LGBTQ-specific cultural competence for first responders, such as law enforcement, to prevent re-traumatizing the survivor of violence.”
NCAVP also found significant barriers related to anti-LGBTQ bias and discrimination to service provision and shelter options for LGBTQ survivors. In this Report, NCAVP calls on local, state and federal governments and private funders to increase funding for community-based LGBTQ-focused domestic/intimate partner violence direct services and prevention. “Policy makers, community organizations and the general public must work to eradicate the anti-LGBTQ bias and discrimination in our laws, culture and society that are barriers to LGBTQ survivors seeking access to vital services and supports,” Terra Slavin of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy Project. “Legislators must take immediate action to overturn discriminatory legislation, to implement laws that prohibit these practices and to support the civil rights of LGBTQ communities including survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence.”
The findings and recommendations made in this Report, and the compelling real-life survivor stories that are highlighted in the accompanying Survival, Support and Resilience: Stories of LGBTQ Survivors and Victims of Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence, highlight the distinct experiences and challenges
encountered by LGBTQ survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence. Policymakers and the public have the responsibility to support NCAVP member organizations in our work to foster survivor self-determination and safety, to eradicate LGBTQ domestic/intimate partner violence, and to end institutional discrimination against LGBTQ communities.
A complete version of the report and the accompanying survivor stories can be seen at http://www.avp.org/ncavp.htm .