LGBTQ Anti-Violence Organizations: #BlackLivesMatter and We Must Reallocate Government Budgets from Policing to Survivor Services

Contact:

Ericka Dixon, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs edixon@avp.org
Audacia Ray, New York City Anti-Violence Project aray@avp.org 

As anti-violence organizations that provide direct services for and advocacy with LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of hate, intimate partner, and sexual violence, we affirm that #BlackLivesMatter and demand that city, county, and state governments commit to reallocating funding from police departments to human services agencies, including LGBTQ and survivor-centered services. In this moment of deep unrest and uncertainty, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and in the wake of the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Tony McDade in Tallahassee, Florida, we demand that police funding be reallocated to organizations that prioritize Black lives and support survivors.

As anti-violence organizations, we work to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected individuals in reducing harm, and healing from the trauma those harms cause, as survivors of violence. For Black, indigenous, and people of color survivors, surviving homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic violence from a partner, acquaintance, family member, landlord, roommate, employer, coworker, or other individual is often paired with and compounded by racist and anti-Black violence they experience from the state. LGBTQ Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) survivors are not safe when our city, county, and state budgets prioritize the expansion of policing and continue to starve social services. Survivors are often criminalized for acts of survival, and instead of getting the care necessary to survive and thrive, their trauma is increased by harassment and violence they experience at the hands of the police. In order to work toward solutions that truly end violence, we must stand up against policing as a solution, and push for the reallocation of police funding to support community-based, trauma-informed organizations that support survivors, especially organizations that are led by BIPOC community leaders.

Our organizations operate with a survivor-centered framework, and this means supporting survivors in exploring all their options for healing and justice. For many survivors, this looks like receiving counseling support from our organizations, peer support from other survivors, and developing political education to connect their individual experiences with their communities and  building power with other survivors. Some survivors want to work with the government or state agencies to get an order of protection or even to bring charges against a person who has done them harm. We support these survivors in doing what they need to do to feel safe. 

We also believe that long-term, our communities are not safer when government budgets prioritize policing over human services that include health care, housing, education, and services for survivors of violence. During a pandemic in which LGBTQ people of color are vulnerable to illness, job loss, and housing instability, and in which Black people are dying at disproportionately higher rates, it is unconscionable for governments to fund police departments at the same or higher levels, while cutting social services. It’s time for budgets to prioritize people and social services over policing.

If you would like to add your organization to statement, sign on here.

Current Signatories:

  1. Advocacy Center of Tompkins County
  2. ALIVE
  3. Barrier Free Living Inc.
  4. Black and Latino LGBTQ Coalition
  5. Brooklyn Community Pride Center
  6. California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
  7. Catholic Charities
  8. Center for Safety & Change
  9. Center for Survivor Agency & Justice
  10. Chosen Family Law Center, Inc.
  11. City University of New York School of Law
  12. CUAV
  13. Day One
  14. Diverse and Resilient
  15. Domestic Violence Project
  16. Equality New York
  17. Fenway Health — Violence Recovery Program
  18. GAPIMNY — Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders
  19. Gender Equality New York
  20. Haven Partners Group
  21. Human Rights at Home Clinic Mass Law
  22. Illinois Accountability Initiative
  23. Jane Doe Inc. MA Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
  24. Legal Aid Society
  25. Los Angeles LGBT Center
  26. MenChallenging
  27. North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence
  28. NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian, and Gay Survivors of Abuse
  29. NYC Anti-Violence Project
  30. OutFront Minnesota
  31. Pacific Coast Counseling
  32. Positive Sum Consulting
  33. Pride Center of Vermont
  34. Rachel Weiss
  35. Rainbow Community Cares
  36. Safe Horizon
  37. Sakhi for South Asian Women
  38. Self
  39. St. Loui Anti-Violence Project
  40. Legal Aid Society
  41. The Legal Project
  42. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
  43. LGBTQ Center Long Beach
  44. The Montrose Center
  45. Trans Pride Initiative
  46. Violence Recovery Program of Fenway Health
  47. Willow Domestic Violence Center NY
  48. WINGS Foundation
  49. YMCA of Genesee Count
  50. ZA’AKAH

A Special NCAVP Report on Anti-LGBTQ Violence During Pride

This year, Pride celebrations around the country marked June as the 50th anniversary of Stonewall and New York City hosted the international community for a World Pride celebration. While our communities experienced an increase in visibility, Pride season was also marked by repeated reports of violence in the LGBTQ community. 

Today, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) is releasing a special report, Pride and Pain: A Snapshot of Anti-LGBTQ Hate and Violence During Pride Season 2019. This report outlines the incidents and trends of violence documented nationally in the two-month period from May 15 to July 15, 2019

Beverly Tillery, New York City Anti-Violence Project’s (AVP) Executive Director said:

“It’s important to remember that violence against the LGBTQ communities continues and in some cases is intensifying. For many of us Pride is a time for celebration, a time to honor our roots in the Stonewall Rebellion, and a reminder of the important legislative and cultural victories that are worth celebrating. This Pride season, we were reminded over and over again of the violence that plagues our community, particularly transgender members of the  community. This snapshot provides another window into the various forms of violence our community faces, and shows how the visibility of Pride season can sometimes lead to greater targeting and attacks.”

Report Summary: 

  • 14 homicides from May 15 – July 15, 2019 including 7 homicides of Black trans women. This was an average of nearly 2 (1.75) homicides each week and more than three times the hate violence homicides recorded between January 1 and May 14, 2019
  • 2 fatalities of trans women of color while in detention, Johana Medina and Layleen Polanco
  • 6 dating, hook-up, and intimate partner violence related incidents
  • 22 anti-LGBTQ protests at pride activities, drag queen story hours, and LGBTQ establishments

 

Ericka Dixon, NCAVP National Capacity Building Coordinator said: “While we recognize that there is no way to know and account for all LGBTQ people who have been targeted and harmed, we can raise and amplify the stories we do know. NCAVP tracks these incidents of violence nationally as a way to better understand how violence impacts LGBTQ and HIV-affected people. This informs our work in preventing and responding to incidents of violence against our community, and in educating LGBTQ people and our allies on ways to create systemic and social change.”

The full snapshot can be found here: avp.org For Media Inquiries contact Eliel Cruz at ecruz@avp.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.

NCAVP Urges Support for the Equality Act

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a coalition of 50 LGBTQ anti-violence organizations across the country, supports the Equality Act and urges Congress to pass H.R. 5. The Equality Act is a crucial step toward LGBTQ liberation, introduced by Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ).

The Equality Act of 2019 amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin, as protected identity factors. The bill forbids discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex stereotypes for all public services and accommodations.

While other proposed anti-discrimination legislation address single topics such as housing, education, public accommodations, and juror protection separately, The Equality Act takes a more comprehensive approach in protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, the Equality Act would protect against discrimination from retail stores, transportation, pharmacies, legal services, banks, and emergency shelters.

Despite some progress in the movement for LGBTQ equality, people who identify as LGBTQ still face interpersonal and institutional oppression that limits their socioeconomic mobility and ability to access various public services. Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is prevalent for LGBTQ people in all aspects of public life—from housing and healthcare to employment and education—and limits the success, empowerment and overall health of the LGBTQ community.

Here are a few examples of the type of discrimination that restricts the social mobility and general wellbeing of LGBTQ people, making it more challenging to pursue safe and fulfilling lives:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 transgender Americans reported being denied equal treatment in a retail store, while 1 in 5 reported unequal treatment at a restaurant or a hotel.[1]
  • One survey found that more than half of LGBT middle and high school students do not feel safe at school due to their sexual orientation, and over one-third feel unsafe in relation to their gender expression.[2]
  • 23% of respondents experienced some form of housing discrimination in the past year, such as being evicted from their home or denied a home or apartment because of being transgender.[3]
  • In 2015, 39% of non-binary people and 34% of transgender men and women reported receiving negative treatment on public transportation.[4]
  • 30% of respondents who had a job in the past year reported being fired, denied a promotion, or experiencing some other form of mistreatment in the workplace related to their gender identity or expression, such as being harassed or attacked.[5]

There is an indivisible connection between discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ people in the public sphere and more severe acts of violence against and within the community. Hate violence and discrimination often serve as risk factors for interpersonal violence in LGBTQ relationships. Research shows that prolonged discrimination and prejudice against historically marginalized communities causes chronic stress, and can exacerbate situations of intimate partner violence[6]. Further, preventing discrimination in housing, employment, banks, and elsewhere enables to survivors to more safely access supportive survivors after experiencing violence.

[1] Jaime M. Grant, Lisa A. Mottet, and Justin Tanis, “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey” (Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 2011), available at http://www.thetaskforce.org/ downloads/reports/reports/ntds_full.pdf.

[2] Joseph G. Kosciw. “The 2013 National School Climate Survey” (Washington: GLSEN, 2014), available at http://glsen.org/nscs

[3] James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.

[4] See above.

[5] See above.

[6] Barrett, B. (March 2015). “Domestic Violence in the LGBT Community.” Encyclopedia of Social Work.

NCAVP mourns the death of Ashanti Carmon, a 27-year-old black trans woman in Fairmount Heights, MD

NCAVP mourns the death of Ashanti Carmon, a 27-year-old black trans woman in Fairmount Heights, MD. According to media reports, Ashanti was died of gun shot wounds last Saturday on the eve of Transgender Day of Visibility. Carmon’s fiancé, Phillip Williams, told NBC News that they had been on a movie date the day before she was found dead.

“Until I leave this Earth, I’m going to continue on loving her in my heart, body, and soul,” Williams said. “She did not deserve to leave this Earth so early, especially in the way that she went out. She did not deserve that.”

NCAVP’s latest report, issued earlier this year, Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ and HIV-affected Communities highlights the disproportionate risk for severe and fatal violence faced by trans women of color, like Ashanti. Local community held a vigil on April 2 to honor Ashanti’s memory.

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 Statement in Support of the Re-Authorization of VAWA

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a coalition of more than 50 LGBTQ anti-violence organizations across the country, urges Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, H.R. 1585.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) remains the only piece of federal legislation that includes explicit civil rights protections for LGBTQ communities. VAWA focuses on preventing and responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. These protections have altered the landscape for lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer (LGBTQ) survivors – particularly for those who experience marginalization based on more than one identity – by increasing access to essential survivor services  and setting a precedent for civil rights protections in future legislation.

Research shows that LGBTQ people experience high rates of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence and far too many of these survivors are not able to access supportive services. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Findings on Victimization by Sexual Orientation, 44% of lesbian women, 61% of bisexual women, 37% of bisexual men and 26% of gay men have experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Research on transgender communities is still limited, but the data that does exist shows that upwards of 50% of transgender people will experience intimate partner violence at some point in their lives. Most recently, NCAVP reported that 37% of LGBTQ intimate partner violence cases included heterosexist or anti-LGBTQ bias.

These high rates of violence are often caused and exacerbated by a lack of LGBTQ affirming prevention and support. VAWA has increased the accessibility of resources for LGBTQ programs, and established opportunities for other programs to receive training and technical assistance so they can better serve LGBTQ survivors. Without this funding, LGBTQ survivors and other underserved communities would be harmed in even greater numbers.

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 affirms current protections for LGBTQ and other underserved communities and provides enhanced data collection. In addition, the bill also includes:

  • Provisions to protect Native survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence and ensure that they can access the justice they deserve;
  • Protections from abusive partners with dangerous weapons;
  • Improved protections for survivors in federal public, subsidized and assisted housing; and
  • Increased funding for sexual violence prevention and education programs.

This bill reflects the field’s commitment to ensuring that all survivors have access to services and care when experiencing intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence. As a result of a fully inclusive VAWA being re-authorized, more survivors will have access to necessary life-saving services, and supporting the needs of all survivors will be affirmed as a national priority.

To express your support for this vital piece of legislation, call your Representatives today and encourage them to sponsor H.R. 1585, and call your Senators to ask that they introduce a bill with the same provisions of H.R. 1585.

NCAVP mourns the death of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman from El Salvador.

NCAVP mourns the death of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman from El Salvador who died earlier this month after being deported from the U.S. According to the Washington Blade, one of the few outlets to report on Camila’s death, she was found in a hospital on January 31 with multiple injuries and passed on February 3.

Traditionally, NCAVP monitors hate and intimate partner violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities within the United States. The coalition does not have the capacity, or claim to have expertise, in the global phenomenon that is violence against LGBTQ communities. The NCAVP is tracking this homicide in particular due to the inhumane immigration policies and detention centers that put LGBTQ survivors at risk.

As told to the Washington Blade, Aislinn Odaly’s, an independent LGBTI rights advocate, said that Camila “migrated to the U.S. because of threats that she had received, but she was deported because they didn’t believe her.” The United States enacted further violence to her by both not believing Camila and knowingly deporting her into a violent environment.

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 condemns trump’s transgender military ban

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court voted to temporarily allow the Trump administration’s ban on most transgender individuals serving in the military to go into effect while the lawsuits challenging the ban move forward. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) strongly condemns the transgender military ban and such attacks against the transgender community.

The first public news of a transgender military ban came by way of the President’s social media in July 2017 and was later formalized by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. The policy, released in 2018, confirmed that the military would no longer allow anyone who identifies with a gender different from the one assigned at birth to serve. Under the new policy, the military would also not pay for transgender affirming medical care. Several law suits have been filed challenging the discriminatory policy and in several cases, lower courts granted injunctions to block the policy, meaning that transgender recruits could join the armed forces, and those already enlisted could stay.

All injunctions from the lower courts have been overruled by the Supreme Court except for one, which will likely be overruled soon, allowing the ban to go into effect while the lawsuits proceed in the courts. Notably, the Supreme Court typically waits to address a case until a lower court issues a ruling. This week, the Court has circumvented this timeline and has issued this order while lower courts are deciding their positions.

Excluding transgender people from serving in the military is one more example of the persistent discrimination transgender people experience in employment, housing, healthcare and education. The current administration’s continued attacks on the transgender community, in particular, are unacceptable and contribute to a culture of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people and all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people. NCAVP works to prevent and end all forms of violence against and within the LGBTQ community and considers this military ban to be a dehumanizing and violent act of discrimination.

NCAVP mourns the death of John Likeness, a 54 year-old white gay man from Menomonie, WI

NCAVP mourns the death of John Likeness, a 54 year-old white gay man from Menomonie, WI, who died from a domestic violence related homicide on December 30, 2018. According to media reports, Likeness died as a result to an injury from a crossbow allegedly by his “common law husband” Richard W. Seehaver. Richard is in custody and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, domestic abuse, being a repeat criminal offender and illegal use of a dangerous weapon.

According to the Start Tribute, John’s niece said “her uncle was a distinguished Army veteran who served for 10 years until 1993 and became disabled while in the military.”

“John was proud to have served our country and although a disabled veteran, he spent this last year embracing independence while exploring the U.S. by railway,” the niece said.

NCAVP’s latest report, issued earlier this week, Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ and HIV-affected Communities in 2017 highlights the LGBTQ people’s risk for severe and fatal intimate partner, domestic, and 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 Vongell Lugo, a 36 year-old gay man in Washington, D.C.

NCAVP mourns the death of Vongell Lugo, a 36 year-old gay man who is the first reported LGBTQ homicide linked to intimate partner violence in 2019.  According to media reports, Vongell was stabbed to death in his home by his partner, U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Collin J. Potter, 26, who was arrested and has been charged by the U.S. Attorney with second degree murder.

Vongell was a successful retail executive, who is described as “a kind soul, the center of the party, and a beacon of light that made an impact on everyone he came into contact with,” on Caring Bridge, which also has information on events to commemorate Vongell’s life, mourn his passing, and contribute to expenses.  Events included a candlelight vigil on Friday, January 11th, a viewing on Sunday, January 13th, and funeral services Monday, January 14th.

NCAVP’s latest report, issued earlier this week, Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ and HIV-affected Communities in 2017 highlights the 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 Dana Martin, a 31 year-old Black trans woman in Montgomery, Alabama

NCAVP mourns the death of Dana Martin, a 31 year-old Black trans woman in Montgomery, Alabama, the first transgender homicide victim of 2019.  According to news reports, Dana was shot while driving her car, and died from the wound. Police have no leads, but are continuing to investigate.  NCAVP’s latest report, issued earlier this week, Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ and HIV-affected Communities highlights the disproportionate risk for severe and fatal violence faced by trans women of color, like Dana.

Daroneshia Duncan-Boyd, founder of Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering, shared in an interview that Dana  “was a person that was loved by many, and you can see it all over Facebook.”

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.