The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) stands shoulder to shoulder with members of Asian communities across the country who are mourning the eight lives lost in the Atlanta massage parlor shooting on March 16. We condemn the anti-Asian hate violence, which has long persisted in this country and has increased over the past year. As the largest LGBTQ-specific anti-violence organization in the country, we recognize that hate violence impacts all oppressed and marginalized communities and that all of our communities must be united in ending hate violence.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been more than 3800 documented acts of hate violence against members of Asian communities across the US, including here in NYC. The fatal shooting last week is a horrific reminder of the ways unchecked xenophobia and misogyny can manifest as deadly violence against Asian people, women, immigrants, and massage workers. As Red Canary Song, a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers, notes, “whether or not they were actually sex workers or self-identified under that label, we know that as massage workers, they were subjected to sexualized violence stemming from the hatred of sex workers, Asian women, working-class people, and immigrants.”
AVP is one of the founding organizations of the NYC Against Hate Coalition, which successfully advocated for the creation of the Hate Crimes Prevention Initiative in spring 2019. The Initiative provided $1.1 million of funding for community-based organizations doing hate violence prevention work citywide and across many communities. The nine members of the coalition are on the ground and offer immediate, basic, culturally responsive, and affirming services to historically criminalized communities. These organizations came together to build alliances across identities to create community-led and community-centered strategies to prevent hate violence.
We call on New York City, as well as the governments of other cities around the country, to invest in hate violence prevention by supporting vulnerable communities and the organizations that serve them. Standing up against all forms of hate violence and supporting communities with economic resources, housing, health care, and other social supports are key to preventing further violence.
As always, AVP is here for you. If you experience or witness violence, you can always reach out to our 24/7 bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 or report violence online. You can also request a bystander/upstander intervention training here and get direct updates and information about AVP’s work by joining our mailing list here.
About New York City Anti-Violence Project: AVP empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy. We envision a world in which all LGBTQ and HIV-affected people are safe, respected, and live free from violence.