AVP Demands Justice for Layleen Polanco

On Monday afternoon, AVP mobilized over 600 people at Foley Square to mourn the loss of, and demand justice for, Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx transgender woman who was found dead in her cell at Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers on June 7, just eleven days before her next scheduled court date.

The news of Layleen Polanco’s death is particularly hard as it comes during a string of reported deaths of trans women of color. Whether the result of racist and transphobic hate violence, violence from a partner or date, or from neglect and abuse in ICE detention, these deaths highlight an epidemic of violence against trans women of color, particularly impacting Black trans women.

We organized the rally to hold the city and the Department of Corrections accountable and to demand the closure of Rikers. Layleen Polanco’s family, including her sister, mother, brother, along with other family members and close friends were in attendance. Layleen Polanco’s sister,

Melania spoke on behalf of the family, sharing her grief and anger over the lack of answers about the untimely death of her sister. Our support of the family and demands for justice continue.

The Anti-Violence Project calls for transparency and a full, and timely, investigation of Layleen Polanco’s death.

For more information on the rally, see some headlines below:

CNN: She was sent to Rikers Island because she couldn’t pay $500 bail. Now, she’s dead

NY Times: After a Transgender Woman’s Death at Rikers, Calls for Justice and Answers

Washington Post: A transgender woman died in her Rikers cell. Now her family is demanding answers.

For direct updates and information about AVP’s work, join our mailing list, here

For future AVP rallies and demonstrations, text ANTIVIOLENCE to 555-888.

NCAVP mourns the death of 23-year-old Chanel Scurlock, a Black trans woman in Lumberton, North Carolina

NCAVP mourns the death of 23-year-old Chanel Scurlock, a Black trans woman who was found dead in Lumberton, North Carolina, just after midnight on Wednesday June 5th.  Chanel died from a gunshot wound.

“RIP baby,” wrote a friend on Facebook. “Chanel Scurlock You your life as you wanted. I’m proud of you for being unapologetically correct about your feelings and expectations of YOU.”

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP Mourns the Death of 28-year-old Ronald ‘Trey’ Peters III, a white gay man in Atlanta, GA

NCAVP mourns the death of Ronald ‘Trey’ Peters III, a 28-year-old gay man who died from a gunshot wound on June 4th in Atlanta, GA. Media reports say, ‘The fatal shooting happened about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Peters was on his way to the MARTA station before work, his partner told police. Multiple witnesses said that as Peters walked down the roadway, two men got out of a truck and put on masks, the report said. The men told Peters to hand over his bag, a witness said. The incident report indicates one of the men then called Peters an anti-gay slur.”

Peters was a beloved social worker, living in Decatur, GA. According to a family obituary, Peters is survived by his parents, grandfather, brother, and partner. A friend writes of him, “Trey always included me and made me feel like part of the group in the JSU drama department. Performing with him in “Death by Darkness” was a highlight of my time there. His and presence were a gift to everyone who knew him.” Condolences may be offered to the Peters family online at www.kilgroefh.com Kilgroe Funeral Home – Pell City.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP memberIf you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of 32-year-old Evan Grabelsky, a white cisgender gay man in Long Island, NY

NCAVP mourns the death of 32-year-old Evan Grabelsky, a white cisgender gay man in Long Island, NY, whose life was lost to intimate partner violence, Saturday, June 1, 2019. According to reports, Evan was active as a children’s camp counselor and special education paraprofessional. Nassau County Police anticipate that 21-year-old Ryan Lindquist, of Massapequa, will face charges of second degree murder for the stabbing that caused his death.

NCAVP’s latest report, issued earlier this year, Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ and HIV-affected Communities in 2017 highlights LGBTQ people’s risk for severe and fatal intimate partner violence, as well as hate violence.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against and within our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Chynal Lindsey, a 26-year-old Black trans woman, in Grand Prairie, Texas

NCAVP mourns the death of Chynal Lindsey, a 26-year-old Black trans woman, whose body was found on May 31, 2019. According to media reports, Ruben Alvarado, 22, has been arrested in connection with her death. Chynal lived in Grand Prairie, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, and was a native of Chicago, who worked in home health care.  Chynal is at least the fourth Black transgender woman to be killed in Dallas in less than four years.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Johana Medina Leon, a 25-year-old El Salvadoran trans woman

NCAVP mourns the death of Johana Medina Leon, 25, who died just four days after she was released from ICE custody and taken to a hospital, May 28, 2019.  According to media sources, Johana was detained for seven weeks by ICE, after she requested asylum from her home country of El Salvador, where she faced severe and escalating transphobia.  Johana’s death comes a year after the death of Roxsana Hernandez Rodruiguez died in ICE custody in New Mexico.

Johana was a certified nurse in El Salvador.  OJ Pitaya, an advocate with Diversidad Sin Fronteras, an LGBT human rights organization, shared that Johana was a certified nurse in El Salvador, and “Her dream was to come to the US to get certified and make a living healing people.”

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Timothy Blancher, a 20-year-old Black gay man in Detroit, MI

NCAVP mourns the death of Timothy Blancher, a 20 year old Black gay man who died from a gunshot wound on May 25th in a Detroit, MI home.  Media reports indicate that Devon Robinson, 18, also of Detroit, was arrested for killing of Timothy, along with 21-year old ,  Alunte Davis, another gay man, and 20-year old Paris Cameron, a trans woman.  Reports indicate the motive for the killing was hatred of LGBTQ people.

Alanna Maguire President of the The Fair Michigan Justice Project, said “This case illustrates the mortal danger faced by members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community.”

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Paris Cameron, a 20-year-old Black trans woman, in Detroit, MI

NCAVP mourns the death of Paris Cameron, a 20-year-old Black trans woman who died from a gunshot wound on May 25th in a Detroit, MI home. Media reports indicate that Devon Robinson, 18, also of Detroit, was arrested for killing of Paris, along with 21-year old,  Alunte Davis and 20-year old, Timothy Blancher, two gay men.  Reports indicate the motive for the killing was hatred of LGBTQ people.

Alanna Maguire President of the The Fair Michigan Justice Project, said “This case illustrates the mortal danger faced by members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community.”

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Alunte Davis, a 21-year-old gay man in Detroit, MI

NCAVP mourns the death of Alunte Davis, a 21-year-old gay man who died from a gunshot wound on May 25th in a Detroit, MI home.  Media reports indicate that Devon Robinson, 18, also of Detroit, was arrested for killing of Alunte, along with 20-year old Timothy Blancher, another gay man, and 20-year old Paris Cameron, a trans woman.  Reports indicate the motive for the killing was hatred of LGBTQ people.

Alunte’s sister, Dasha Robinson, said of her brother, “Alunte was silly.  He was full of life, he was helpful.”

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

#QueerSVAM: What is Sexual Violence?

April is Sexual Violence Awareness Month, a time to honor the experiences of sexual violence survivors, and to find ways that we can all engage in destigmatizing and preventing sexual violence. At AVP, we use the term Sexual Violence Awareness Month, instead of the more traditionally recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month, because we understand sexual violence occurs on a spectrum of behaviors, including harassment, exploitation, and murder. We affirm all of the ways our communities define their experiences of sexual violence, whether or not it meets the criminal legal definition of sexual assault.

Sexual violence is any completed or attempted act, comment, or advance by anyone in any setting to which an individual has not given your explicit consent. It can be part of, and also can be distinct from, the cycle of power and control central to  intimate partner violence. Sexual violence can also be perpetrated by current and former partners, coworkers, classmates, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Although the majority of sexual violence is committed by cisgender men, people of all genders can experience and perpetrate sexual violence. In LGBTQ community, we face  even higher rates of sexual violence than our non-LGBTQ counterparts.

The mainstream definition of sexual violence typically offers a limited understanding of who can experience and perpetrate sexual violence. This leaves LGBTQ survivors further marginalized and without proper resources or tools for navigating and recovering from harm. LGBTQ people who are sex workers, currently or formerly incarcerated, Black or Brown, low income, disabled, transgender, or undocumented may have a harder time accessing supportive services after violence due to racial, economic, and gendered systems of oppression.

No matter a person’s identity, sexual violence is never the survivor’s fault. If you or someone you know is a survivor, reach out to your local anti-violence project or to AVP’s 24/7, bilingual hotline at (212) 714- 1141.