NCAVP Condemns Trump’s License to Discriminate

By Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project

Today President Trump signed an Executive Order that creates dangerous avenues for agencies, organizations, and individuals to discriminate against LGBTQ people, people accessing reproductive health care, and other marginalized communities under the guise of religious liberty.  While many religious institutions and organizations support LGBTQ rights and actively work to end violence against LGBTQ people, this Executive Order validates those who believe that they should be able to prevent people from accessing lifesaving and affirming resources because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.

What’s worse is that the Executive Order directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has already used his position as Attorney General to roll back protections for LGBTQ communities, to issue guidelines for agencies to interpret religious liberty protections in Federal Law. LGBTQ communities are rightfully worried that Sessions will use this as opportunity to push anti-LGBTQ guidance and policies that will limit the rights of LGBTQ communities and our access to resources that should be afforded to all.

Every year, thousands of LGBTQ and HIV affected people report experiencing hate violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and other forms of violence to organizations of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. These survivors often rely on social services, healthcare, and resources provided by the government, organizations, and religious institutions and already are more likely to be discriminated against or turned away. In 2015, 44% of those survivors who reported experiencing intimate partner violence to NCAVP member programs were denied with the most common reason being gender identity. This executive order may create pathways to further discriminate against LGBTQ survivors by undermining current legal protections, but to be clear, those legal protections remain in force, and as such, any discrimination will be unlawful.

We must be vigilant in seeing how this executive order plays out. We must watch every move that Jeff Sessions makes to legitimize discrimination against LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities and call it out when we see it.

These executive orders attacking LGBTQ communities, Muslim communities, immigrants, and reproductive rights seek to divide us, seek to silo and diminish our resources and power. We will not be divided in the wake of these violent acts. We will continue our work to protect those in our community who experience the most egregious forms of discrimination and violence, including LGBTQ communities of color and Muslim, immigrant, disability, and native communities. The LGBTQ anti-violence movement will continue to show up and fight against any discriminatory or violent action by this administration, and we will do it in solidarity with other movements.

NCAVP member programs are here for you if you have experienced violence, need support or want to get involved. Find your local NCAVP member program here.

AVP Action Brief: #LicensetoDisriminate; Trans health at risk under Trump

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

#LicenseToDiscriminate

Tomorrow, President Trump is expected to sign a Religious Exemption Executive Order. This Executive Order will seek to allow discrimination based on religious or moral objections to LGBTQ identity, abortion, contraception and more.  In other words, companies, agencies and individuals can use religion as an excuse to refuse to serve or hire LGBTQ people. This sends the message from the highest seat in our government that it is okay to hate, it is okay to discriminate, and it leaves our communities vulnerable to violence.

In the wake of the election AVP has seen a 45% increase in hotline calls, a 46% spike in reports of hate violence, and a 67% increase in new clients seeking counseling. We know that discriminatory Executive Orders, laws, and national discourse increases the violence we face, putting all of our lives, and especially the most marginalized among us, at risk. We will organize against this and any other hate-based legislation or executive orders that are advanced.

And if you witness or experience anti-LGBTQ violence, or if you are feeling fearful or anxious in response to this Executive Order, please call us at 212-714-1141.  AVP continues to find ways to make our services and programs safe and accessible for all. We offer counseling sessions by phone, or in person in all 5 boroughs. We are here for you, now and always.

Trans health at risk under Trump

Yesterday, the Trump Administration signaled that they will allow discrimination against transgender people seeking health-related services, including gender affirming surgeries. Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits sex discrimination, applies to transgender people and finalized a rule barring discrimination against transgender people in health care. This rule has paved the way for thousands of transgender people to receive gender-affirming healthcare.

This rule was challenged in court, and this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made a move to take this issue away from the courts so it could be sent back to HHS which will likely rescind the rule. Two of Trump’s appointees, Jeff Sessions (DOJ) and Tom Price (HHS), are now working together to deny healthcare for transgender people. Denying transgender and gender non-conforming people access to health care is a form of violence and LGBTQ communities and allies must speak out loudly and boldly on this issue, as well as against the many ways this administration is denying the humanity of transgender people.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Call the White House comment line: 202-456-1111 or White House switchboard: 202-456-1414 and tell President Trump that a Religious Exemption Executive Order is a license to discriminate against our LGBTQ communities.
  • Join the conversation online using the hashtag #Licensetodiscrminate
  • Put pressure on your representatives and tell them that you support the Equality Act. Join the conversation online using the hashtag #EqualityForward.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent government actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

Further reading:

BuzzFeed – Civil Rights Groups Are Ready To Sue Trump If He Signs A Broad Religious Freedom Order 

Washington Blade – DOJ signals plan to undo rule banning anti-trans bias in health care

The Advocate – Trump Moves to Dump Trans-Inclusive Health Care Rule

 

AVP Action Brief: #EqualityForward

The AVP Action Brief tracks actions of the Trump administration that impact our communities’ safety and rights and offers concrete steps that we can take to stand up for safety and justice.

We are here for you and we are in this together.

#EqualityForward

Today, U.S. Representative David N. Cicilline and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley jointly introduced the Equality Act of 2017 into both chambers of Congress. The Equality Act is a bipartisan proposal that seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other key federal nondiscrimination laws to provide LGBT people with comprehensive federal protections against discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and more. The Equality Act would also expand the definition of public accommodations to include transportation services, retail establishments, and health care services – places where we frequently see LGBTQ discrimination.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ most recent report on Hate Violence underscores the need for the federal protections provided by the Equality Act. In 2015, 61% of survivors knew the person who committed the hate violence against them, such as landlords, coworkers, and acquaintances. Nearly half of survivors reported experiencing violence in either a private residence or a workplace. The Equality Act would be the first piece of federal legislation passed by Congress to remedy the everyday forms of bias, discrimination, and intimidation that our communities face as we navigate our lives.

 Here’s what you can do.

  • Put pressure on your representatives and tell them that you support the Equality Act.
  • Join the conversation online using the hashtag #EqualityForward
  • Read the Center for American Progress survey on LGBTQ discrimination.
  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP and Communities Against Hate.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent government actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard.
  • Forward this email to a friend. Ask them to sign up for the AVP Action Brief to stay informed and activated, too.

 

 Further reading:

The Advocate: Dems Re-Introducing LGBT Rights Bill

Vox: “Discrimination is doing its dirty work”: a new survey looks at the effects of anti-LGBTQ hate

We can #LiveWithoutFear. You can help.

Here’s what’s happening: a 45% increase in hotline calls. A 46% spike in reports of hate violence. A 67% increase in new clients seeking counseling.

At AVP, we’re here for you whenever, wherever. Counselors are ready to talk one-on-one. Lawyers are ready to advocate for you in court. We organize LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities to create a culture of respect and safety throughout NYC.

We’re asking you to join us as a fundraiser to make sure AVP remains a lifeline for survivors of violence. Welcome to Day 1 of our #LiveWithoutFear campaign.

From now until May 15th, we’ll be working to raise $25,000. Join us as a fundraiser to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of violence across New York City.

It’s easy to get started, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Here’s what to do:

  1. Set up your own fundraising page. On it, tell the story of what AVP means to you.
  2. Share your page with friends and family, and ask them to give a gift to sustain our crucial work.
  3. Check out our detailed fundraising guide, which will walk you through every step of the process.

 

Together, we can build a world in which all LGBTQ and HIV-affected people are safe, respected, and #livewithoutfear. Help us make it a reality.

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Chay Reed, a Black transgender woman killed in Miami, Florida

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Chay Reed, a Black transgender woman, killed in Miami, Florida on April 21st, 2017. According to media reports, she was shot while running across the street; her attacker fled the scene. Friends remembered Chay as a funny, caring friend who loved to dance and “was a light, always trying to make everyone around her happy.”

“We send our love and thoughts to the friends, family and loved ones of Chay Reed,” said Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “There is more awareness than ever of the violence that transgender and gender non-conforming people face, and yet we continue to see a roll back of rights and protections in schools, employment and other areas, as well as transphobic rhetoric being used by political leaders. Every day we have an option to be silent or to be loud and bold in our support for our transgender communities, friends and family members. Now is the time for each of us to choose to be loud and bold.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.

In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence.  For more information, or to locate an anti-violence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online.  Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence.  To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact:
Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

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.

AVP learns of anti-gay vandalism incidents in Astoria, Queens

AVP has learned of several incidents of anti-gay vandalism which occurred this past week in Astoria, Queens. According to media reports, a series of garages and a connecting wall on 23rd Street between 28th and 29th avenues were spray-painted with slurs. The graffiti was anti-Obama and used anti-gay slurs, similar to an incident of vandalism that occurred last month, targeting the offices of New York State Senator Michael Gianaris and New York State Assemblyperson Aravella Simotas. Police believe that the vandalism was committed by the same suspect behind similar recent graffiti incidents in the area.

AVP has reached out to the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City Councilmember Costa Constantinides, New York City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, and Make the Road New York.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP

We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

  • Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
  • Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Speak up, be loud, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
  • Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
  • Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
  • Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
  • Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

 

AVP will be doing outreach in Astoria in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. To work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

#ValueTransLives

Vickie Cruz, star of The Death and Life of Marsh P. Johnson and former AVP Senior Counselor/Advocate sat down with Executive Director Beverley Tillery and Lead Organizer LaLa Zannell to discuss valuing trans lives in the past, present and future.  Watch their conversation below.

Help us honor the lives of Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and other transgender leaders by joining us to #ValueTransLives.  Check out our campaign and let us know how you plan to value trans lives! We’ll be sharing responses back to you and the rest of our community here.

 

NCAVP learns of the intimate partner violence related homicide of James Johnson in Brooklyn, New York

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the intimate partner violence (IPV) related homicide of James Johnson in downtown Brooklyn, New York which occurred on the morning of April 9th, 2017. According to media reports, a 42-year-old-man, identified in the press as the victim’s boyfriend, has been arrested and charged with 41-year-old James Johnson’s homicide. The suspect has stated that he acted in self-defense.

“We are deeply saddened by the homicide of James Johnson and send our condolences to his friends and loved ones,” said Beverly Tillery, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “While we still do not know exactly what happened in this case, as a society, we must make sure that we are actively working to address LGBTQ IPV before it escalates within LGBTQ relationships. We must also put a spotlight on the experiences of queer, gay, bisexual and transgender men who are often not given access to domestic violence and IPV services and whose realities as survivors are not factored into policy discussions.”

NCAVP’s report Intimate Partner Violence in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV Affected Communities in 2015, released in October 2016, documented thirteen IPV homicides in 2015. Of the thirteen homicides, four of the victims were cisgender men, three of whom were killed by current or former male partners. Additionally, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual men experience intimate partner violence at similar if not higher rates as men who identify as heterosexual.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence.  For more information, or to locate an anti-violence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org or visit us online.  Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence.  To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

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.

AVP Learns of an Anti-Gay Incident in Downtown Brooklyn

AVP has learned of an anti-gay incident which occurred last Thursday, March 30th, 2017 in Downtown Brooklyn. According to media reports, a gay-identified man boarded a subway train at the Franklin Avenue subway stop on the A/C line and was physically assaulted by a man hurling anti-gay slurs as the train pulled into the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station.

AVP has reached out to Make the Road New York, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the LGBT Liaison to the Police Commissioner, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP

We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

• Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.
• Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
• Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
• Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
• Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
• Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
• Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

AVP will be doing outreach in Downtown Brooklyn in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources. Additionally, to work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

SUPPORT AVP’S WORK TO MAKE THE CITY SAFER FOR LGBTQ AND HIV-AFFECTED NEW YORKERS

Get regular updates on our ongoing work on Facebook or Twitter, and get involved and make a difference.

NCAVP has learned of the possible hate violence homicide of Andrew Nesbitt in Madison, Wisconsin

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the possible hate violence homicide of Andrew Nesbitt, age 46, who was found stabbed to death in his apartment in Madison, Wisconsin on March 27th, 2017. According to media reports, police have arrested a suspect, and have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime.

Andrew was a survivor of a previous incident of hate violence, and he had worked closely with NCAVP member organization, Diverse & Resilient in Madison, Wisconsin to process his experience and tell his story.

“We hold his friends and families close in our hearts as they grieve the loss of Drew, who was such a dear, loving, and sweet person,” said Kathy Flores, LGBTQ Statewide Anti-Violence Coordinator for Diverse & Resilient. “While the motivation for this crime has yet to be reported, Diverse & Resilient is available to offer support for LGBTQ individuals. Diverse & Resilient offers a statewide anti-violence resource call or text phone line for LGBTQ individuals who are victims of all violence or at risk of being victims of violence.”

Diverse & Resilient also encourages people to consider these safety tips if they are heading out, and to remember that even if you follow all of these safety tips and violence happens, it is never your fault.

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014.

NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an antiviolence program in your area, please contact us at info@ncavp.org.. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at info@ncavp.org.

If you are a member of the media, please contact: Sue Yacka, New York City Anti-Violence Project: syacka@avp.org or 212-714-1184

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.