The New York City Anti-Violence Project issues the following statement from Executive Director Beverly Tillery in response to New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ directive to first responders concerning involuntary hospitalization.
New York, NY – “As the country’s largest LGBTQ anti-violence organization experienced in providing crisis response and support for over 40 years, AVP knows that Mayor Adams’ directive to begin involuntarily hospitalization of those they deem “unable to care for themselves” will not solve the severe problems caused by the growing housing and mental health care crises in our city. Instead, the directive will further harm those already marginalized individuals who cannot access the range of resources they need. Our work finds that LGBTQ survivors of violence, particularly Black, Indigenous, and other survivors of violence of color, often live with trauma and mental illness and need a safety net of inclusive services to meet their complex needs. What they do not need is to have police given the authority to make mental health assessments or empowered to admit them into hospitals by brute force. The escalation of police interactions and institutionalization will not provide the necessary care for individuals in crisis. For our community, those experiences are often very retraumatizing, dangerous —and sometimes fatal.
The tragic killing of Kawaski Trawick, a black queer man, living in supportive housing, by police in 2019 is just one example of how deadly police response to reported mental health crises can end terribly wrong for those needing help, especially for queer and trans people of color, and it is by no means an isolated case. AVP continues to call for comprehensive and thoughtful solutions to these deep, longstanding problems; solutions such as an increase in accessible and free mental health care resources and affordable permanent housing and job training programs designed for and are inclusive and affirming of LGBTQ people.
We know this news is disturbing and can be triggering and frightening for many in our community. We want you to know that, as always, AVP is here for you. If you are impacted by this news and need support, our hotline volunteers and counselors are ready and available whenever you need them. Call or text AVP’s 24/7 English/Spanish hotline at 212-714-1141 or by completing our Report Violence form.”
The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) is an expert in building programs and solutions to help keep LGBTQ and HIV-affected people safe. For 40 years, AVP has championed the safety of our communities through direct client support, legal and political advocacy and community organizing. We are dedicated to uplifting our communities, centering those most marginalized, and dismantling the systems of oppression and layers of violence that disproportionally affect us every day. We uphold and protect LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of violence through trauma-informed programming and services that respectfully engage the nuance and diversity of our community’s lived experiences. We are steadfast in addressing and changing the underlying root causes of violence to empower our communities to thrive.