NCAVP Submits Response to Proposed Changes to National Crime Victimization Survey

NCAVP Submits Response to Proposed Changes to National Crime Victimization Survey

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced a change to the National Crime Victimization Survey that would raise the age for questions asking about sexual orientation and gender identity from 16 to 18 years old claiming concerns about the potential sensitivity of these questions for adolescents. Through our collaboration on the National LGBTQ Institute on Intimate Partner Violence, NCAVP has submitted comments to the Bureau of Justice Statistics denouncing this action as harmful to LGBTQ communities and dispelling the myth that these questions are harmful for adolescents.

For over 20 years, NCAVP has released reports with information on how LGBTQ and HIV communities are impacted by violence, including hate violence and intimate partner violence. Through these reports, we have witnessed the power of information and data collection in advocating for the needs of LGBTQ survivors of violence.

Simultaneously, we advocate for data collection systems that are sensitive to the needs of survivors, private, and confidential. The NCVS already meets national standards for data collection, and this decision by the BJS should be called out for what it is – a political move that aims to erase the experiences LGBTQ survivors of violence.

NCAVP will continue to advocate for safe and inclusive data collection systems so that our experiences are counted and the violence that we experience can be meaningfully addressed.

Read full comments: NCVS Institute Comments

 

A message from the Executive Director: We must work to better support our LGBTQ youth

Dear friends,

We are heartbroken and disturbed by the tragic and fatal stabbing that occurred on the morning of Wednesday, September 27 at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx. We mourn the death of Matthew McCree and hope for the recovery of Ariane LaBoy. Our hearts go out to Abel Cedeno, the families of all three of the youth involved, and the entire school and neighboring community in which the lives of so many have been irrevocably altered by this tragedy.

We call on the mayor and school officials to respond swiftly to this tragedy: not only to the fatal stabbing, but to address the bullying that appears was an integral part of this fatal incident, and work to create a safer and healing environment for the future. According to recent news reports, Cedeno’s family and friends have said he was the victim of anti-gay bullying since the start of the school year, and in fact had been bullied since middle school. We know all too well that bullying, harassment and other anti-LGBT violence in schools causes serious harm to the students targeted.  According to GLSEN, 57.6% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 43.3% because of their gender expression, resulting in 42.5% of LGBTQ students who reported that they did not plan to finish high school, or were not sure if they would finish, or indicated that they were considering dropping out because of the harassment they faced at school.

We do not believe that the addition of metal detectors is the real solution to this tragedy, and caution against responding to this incident of violence by increasing the policing and potential criminalization of our youth, especially youth of color. We strongly believe that all three youth involved are victims who needed the support and action of the adults around them to intervene, and we hope we can move forward without further demonizing them in this moment.

This stabbing has come on the heels of the news of the horrific murder of 17-year-old Ally Lee Steinfeld, in Missouri, which occurred in early September as a result of transphobia and dating violence. And we just learned of the vicious attack on Kylie Perez, a young transgender student at East Side High in Newark, which also occurred on school grounds. This news comes at a time when we are seeing a significant increase in hate violence towards LGBTQ people and others both locally and nationally. Last month we released a report, Crisis of Hate, to bring attention to the fact that at this point in the year, we have already recorded the highest number of hate violence-related homicides of LGBTQ people in our 20-year history of tracking this information.

It’s clear that as a country, and in community, we must work to better support our youth during some of the most vulnerable and important times of their lives, and to address the climate of hate against LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants and others that is growing at an alarming rate. We need to work to ensure that our schools—as well as other public spaces—are affirming and safe environments for young people of all identities, and that school officials and teachers are well equipped to address and prevent bullying and other forms of anti-LGBTQ violence. We call upon our communities to address not only the symptoms of violence as it plays out in our homes, schools, and workplaces, but to address the underlying root causes that fuel this violence, like racism, transphobia, homophobia, and more. And we call upon our communities to seek restorative and healing responses to violence that offer support, not punitive measures, to all in need.

AVP offers our support to students, family members and school officials in addressing and healing from this tragedy. Our hotline and counseling services are available any time to LGBTQ youth who may be experiencing anti-LGBTQ violence, and to those who are trying to support those youth.

Until we are all safe and free,

Beverly Tillery

NCAVP mourns the police violence homicide of Scout Schultz in Atlanta, GA

NCAVP mourns the death of Scout Schultz, who was shot and killed on September 16th, 2017 by Georgia Tech Campus Police in Atlanta, Georgia. According to press reports, Schultz was in emotional distress when they walked toward police carrying a knife before they were shot. It has been reported that Schultz identified as nonbinary, bisexual, and intersex, used they/them pronouns, and was the president of Georgia Tech’s Pride Alliance. Protests were held on the Georgia Tech campus following Schultz’s death.

We mourn the loss of Scout Schultz, and send love and care to their friends and loved ones. Schultz’s family spoke out, sharing that they had a history of emotional and mental health issues and had attempted to self-harm in the past. Georgia Tech Campus Police responded with deadly force, which Schultz’s family has said they do not believe was necessary and plan to bring a civil rights lawsuit.

Each year, NCAVP records homicides where police use excessive force against our communities, especially transgender and gender non-conforming people and LGBTQ people of color. We join so many in our communities demanding justice and accountability for Scout Schultz’s homicide at the hands of the police, and calling for increased competency by police in responding to individuals who are manifesting signs and symptoms of mental illness.

In memory of Scout Schultz.

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.

Join Vice President Joseph R. Biden at the 21st Annual Courage Awards!

The Board of Directors of the New York City Anti-Violence Project cordially invites you to the:

Courage Awards

Wednesday, October 11th
6:00 – 9:30 PM*
Current, Pier 59, Chelsea Piers**
23rd Street and West Side Highway

*details on VIP reception forthcoming.
**Please note, Current at Chelsea Piers is an updated location. The Courage Awards will not be held at Broad Street Ballroom.

Honoring:

Vice President Joseph R. Biden

A steadfast champion of LGBTQ justice and the rights of LGBTQ survivors of violence.

Also Honoring:

David France, Victoria Cruz, and the cast and crew of The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

VICE Media

For boldly speaking out and finding powerful and creative ways to galvanize us all to work for safety and justice.

Co-Chairs

Brian Friedman*
Bea Hanson
Mike Hofman*
Selenis Leyva
Dara Major*
Sharon Stapel

Host Committee

Will Chamberlin*
Shelby Chestnut
Hon. Thomas K. Duane*
Max Emerson
Aditi Hardikar
Kevin Krueger*
Alexandro Padres*
Clarence Patton
Stan Ponte &
John Metzner
Ian Tattenbaum*
Beverly Tillery
Christopher Tine &
Michael Ohlhausen
Thomas Zuzelo*

Sponsors (as of 9/15/17)

Protector
Gerald J. Friedman Transgender Health & Wellness Center at Northwell Lenox Hill

Sustainer
Macquarie
Stan Ponte & John Metzner

Activist
AllianceBernstein
Joy Tomchin
Stan Tomchin

Advocate
Akerman LLP
Kevin Krueger* & Spencer Joffrion
Venable Foundation

Champion
Christopher Street Financial
Todd E. Grasinger
Mike Hofman
Kenneth T. Monteiro & Leo J. Blackman
Ian Tattenbaum* & Larry Holtzin

Partner
Dara Major*
Rich Palermo & & Steve Metzner
Thomas Salatte* & Christopher Bendixen
Chris Tuttle* & Marcelino Gonzalez
Thomas Zuzelo

                

           

*Board of Directors

 

One Month after Charlottesville: A Call to LGBTQ White Folks to Step Up!

by Catherine Shugrue dos Santos, MSW
Co-Director of Client Services at AVP

One month ago today, Nazis and white supremacists inflicted pain and violence in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, and we simply can’t afford to let our feelings of disgust and outrage fade. If we, as white people, do not stand up, step up, and actively fight each and every effort by hate groups and the government to roll back the rights of people of color, we are not truly fighting for LGBTQ equality.

White supremacy reinforces and engenders all oppression—patriarchy, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, anti-immigrant bias, anti-HIV bias, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, classism, ableism, and hatred in all forms. As white queer and trans folks, we must recognize that this violent extremism does not represent anything new, and that the real danger to our nation is not only white cisgender straight men marching with torches through the streets. The real danger here is our collective white silence, and the tendency for us who sit in our power and privilege on the sidelines.

I am not proud when I catch myself still feeling shocked and surprised in moments while scrolling through my newsfeed – because I realize that moment of surprise is all about my privilege. I would love to think that the world really is getting better, that the election of President Trump is an unfortunate period in our history that will pass, even if I do nothing. At first, I was hurt when people of color whom I love and work alongside every day told me they were not surprised when Trump won, and even seemed impatient with how heartbroken I felt.  Because I wasn’t directly impacted by racism and white supremacy as a white person, I could believe we were on our way to better times.

As a social worker, and a queer anti-violence advocate, I knew we were not done. I never believed we were in a post-racial society, or that President Obama singlehandedly ended racism by being elected. I knew that the same Supreme Court who struck down DOMA also dismantled the Voting Rights Act, and that we had much more to do.  But was I ready for the return of emboldened white supremacists marching through an American town?  Even with all the work I have done, I wasn’t prepared—and that is on me.

As white people, we must challenge racism and white supremacy everywhere we see it rear its ugly head. We must stop the conversations about “all sides,” and “all lives matter,” in their tracks. We must stand up for what is right. We must denounce white supremacy in all its forms. We must fight to give up the privilege we have which we do not deserve, and did nothing to earn. We must do this because for all of us to thrive, we must create and live in a world where racism is not allowed to flourish, but is eradicated.

I believe we can work together, that we must do so, because as Ella Watkins says, our liberation really is bound together. As queer white folks who experience homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia every day, we have to realize that we are all in danger from white supremacy and racism.  We must use our white privilege to fight oppression and injustice, as aspiring allies to communities of color, and particularly to our own queer and trans communities of color.  If we do that, I believe it is possible for us to reach the America I was taught existed, where everyone is valued and free.  As Langston Hughes said:

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

Mid-Year Report on LGBTQ Hate Violence Homicides Released Today

Today the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) released a report, A Crisis of Hate: Mid-Year Report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Hate Violence Homicides.

For 20 years, NCAVP has released national research reports on the ways LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities experience hate violence. Within these reports, NCAVP shares information about anti-LGBTQ homicides for the previous year. However, in just August of 2017, NCAVP has recorded the highest number of anti-LGBTQ homicides in our whole history of tracking this information.

  • As of August 23rd, 2017, NCAVP has recorded reports of 36 hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ and HIV affected people, the highest single incident number ever recorded by NCAVP.
  • This number represents a 29% increase in single incident reports from 2016.
  • So far in 2017, there has been nearly one homicide a week of an LGBTQ person in the U.S.

 

NCAVP has decided to issue this report early in hopes that it will raise awareness of the crisis of fatal violence against LGBTQ and HIV affected communities, and will compel people to take action to end this violence. Some key findings include:

  • The victims of these hate violence related homicides have overwhelmingly been transgender women and queer, bi, or gay cisgender men.
  • There was a significant increase of reports of homicides of queer, bi, or gay cisgender men, from 4 reports in 2016 to 17 reports in 2017.
  • In August of 2017, NCAVP has already collected information on 19 hate-violence related homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people this year, compared to 19 reports for the entire year of 2016. 16 of these homicides were of transgender women of color.

 

NCAVP hopes that this sharing this information now will encourage people to reject anti-LGBTQ bias whenever it occurs, and to resist any hateful rhetoric or policies put forward by this administration or by legislators.

 “We are calling on decent people across this country to speak out against hateful speech, threats, and violence against LGBTQ people whenever it occurs. We call on elected officials and policy makers to reject hateful legislation such as Religious Exemption bills and so-called “bathroom bills.” And we call on everyone to stand up to our current administration and congress and let them know that harmful policies or legislation against any marginalized group will face the full force of our united opposition.” 

– Beverly Tillery, Executive Director, New York City Anti-Violence Project

Read and download and share the full report.

The time for addressing this crisis of hate is now.

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Josie Berrios, a transgender woman of color killed in Ithaca, New York

Josie Berrios’ homicide is the 13th reported killing of a transgender person of color NCAVP has responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the homicide of Josie Berrios, a transgender woman of color, killed in Ithaca, New York on Tuesday, June 13th, 2017. According to media reports, Josie was found dead at a building site that was under construction. Michael Davis, 45, was arrested and charged in connection with Josie’s death and is alleged to have had a personal relationship with her. Josie, who also went by the name Kendra Marie Adams, was remembered in an outpouring of love and grief by friends on social media.

“We continue to send care and support to everyone who knew Josie and has been impacted by this tragic loss,” said LaLa Zannell, Lead Organizer at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Every life lost to violence feels devastating. The most that we can hope for that is that when people hear this story, and the stories of so many lives of transgender women of color that have been taken before, that they will take action to make their communities safer and affirming for transgender women. We all have the opportunity to challenge the ways that transphobia and racism show up in our communities.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016, recorded 77 total hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in 2016, including the 49 mostly LGBTQ and Latinx lives lost in the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June of 2016. Outside of those lives lost during the shooting at Pulse Nightclub, there were 28 homicides of LGBTQ people, an increase of 17% from 24 in 2015. Of the 28 reported non-Pulse hate violence homicides 79% were people of color, 19 were transgender and gender non-conforming people, and 17 were transgender women of color.

NCAVP has been in contact with local organizations in Ithaca to offer support and care during this difficult time.

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.

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Three Tips for Taking Care of Yourself—and Your Community—One Year after Pulse

Leading up to today, you may be reading many articles about Pulse, what it means to our communities, what we can learn from it, and what we can do to come together and work to end violence against LGBTQ communities as hate speech and violence are on the rise. This article is not about that. This piece is about how we keep ourselves and communities whole as we do the necessary work of fighting to make things better. It’s about how we take care of ourselves and of each other, and how we heal ourselves and our community.

From our experiences at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), leading a team of counselors and advocates, working alongside organizers, trainers, policy advocates, and attorneys, the majority of whom identify as part of the communities most impacted by violence—queer and trans folks, people of color, immigrants, youth and more—we know that the folks who are on the front lines are also directly impacted by this violence.  It bears noting that the night Pulse was attacked was Latinx Night, again impacting queer and trans people of color.

At AVP we see firsthand, in the first person, the toll that it takes to overcome hate and live without fear. We recognize that to keep fighting this fight—and to win it—we must ensure our movements are sustainable over time and that we are not depleting our own resources in the face of the systemic violence we face.

To do this, we believe three things are necessary:

  1. Taking care of ourselves (aka Self-Care)
  2. Taking care of each other (aka Community-Care)
  3. Finding your own balance between the two.

Self-Care

Audre Lorde famously said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”  We agree that caring for ourselves is an important component of ensuring we can continue to work to build safety, justice, and equity for LGBTQ and allied communities. But some of us may be feeling a little self-care fatigue, may even groan when we hear it mentioned.  We get it, and understand that some of the information out there about self-care may not feel accessible to many of us. Solutions may feel out of reach, may not reflect our individual cultural practices, don’t feel helpful or simply feel overwhelming to think about!  Sometimes self-care is not “one big thing” you can do, but may require “a lot of little things.” Here are a few ideas or tips that we hope can be helpful to you when thinking about your own self-care. Figure out:

How you’re doing:  Take an inventory of how you are feeling, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Too often, we minimize how we’re feeling to push through and get all the urgent things we need to do, done. But those things that we’re minimizing will only get worse if not attended to. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Where does it hurt or feel achy?
  • How’s your energy level? Your mood?
  • When did you last drink water and eat?
  • How are you sleeping?
  • What feels pretty good?
  • When did you last stop to think, reflect, meditate, pray, or take a few breaths?

What might help:  You really are the expert here—what makes you feel better? If you are stuck, reach out to your community for ideas. Some may be exactly what you are looking for and others may not feel right for you—that’s ok!  Consider attending to all of your areas of health (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), and keep in mind a few common culprits:  dehydration, exhaustion, being triggered in your trauma.  Then, focus on what you can do to address what’s happening—in the moment, in the next few days, few weeks, and over the course of the year.

How to get what you need:  Make a self-care plan and reach out for help. We often create these plans in response or reaction to something that’s already happened.  It’s really great to have a self-care plan before you need it, and to make sure you have a list of folks you trust in your community that you can turn to if you need support.  It’s not always easy, as marginalized communities who are so often told we need to “be strong,” to reach out and ask for help. It is essential to believe that we are deserving of support and that we too have the right to ask for help—for ourselves.

If you need help knowing where to start, you can always call us, 24/7 at AVP: 212 714 1141. Our hotline counselors are available to you, wherever, whenever.  You can also make a report online, and ask a Counselor to reach out to you.

Community-Care

We can’t stop at taking care of ourselves, because we can’t do this alone.  The idea of self-care as the only way to approach healing is well-intentioned, but flawed: it can be isolating, it puts the responsibility for healing on each of us as individuals, and it doesn’t allow accountability to and responsibility for one another’s wellness. We can’t isolate or silo ourselves and leave others high and dry. We are in this together! Community care means taking care of each other. Checking in with your co-workers, your fellow activists, your loved ones, and working to support and nurture them as your community is equally—if not more—important. It’s essential to continuing in the struggle. We must work in solidarity, to honor the lives we have lost, and to uplift all of us who are still here and still fighting. Too often, we make space for action, and we do action really well—we hit hard, we go all out, and we make real change. But then, we retreat to care for ourselves, alone. What we’re missing is making space to heal, together, as a community. We came together to fight for each other, and we have to fight just as hard to help each other heal, so we can be stronger and fight even harder, and win.

Balance

The important thing here is to remember that both Self-Care and Community-Care are important—as we say at AVP, it’s a “both-and,” rather than an “either-or.” You can’t really do one without the other—taking care of yourself in isolation won’t likely be enough when you spend so much time in community, and ignoring your own needs and taking care of everybody else will led to burnout—or worse—really quickly. In taking care of yourselves and each other, here are some links that might be helpful:

Cat Shugrue dos Santos and Darlene S. Torres are Co-Directors of Client Services at the New York City Anti-Violence Project (www.avp.org).

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Kenne McFadden, a Black transgender woman killed in San Antonio, Texas

Kenne McFadden is the 12th reported killing of a transgender person of color NCAVP has responded to in 2017
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Kenne McFadden, a Black transgender woman, killed in San Antonio, Texas.  According to media reports, Kenne was found dead on April 8, 2017. She was originally misgendered and her death was mistakenly classified as a drowning. Her death has been reclassified as a homicide, and a person of interest has been identified by police. Media reports say that Keene’s friend April said that she “always kept us smiling and laughing.”

“Trans Pride Initiative is both saddened and angry to learn of yet another homicide against a young Black trans woman, as well as seeing yet further examples of the police and media misgendering that contributes to anti-trans violence,” said Nell Gaither, President, Trans Pride Initiative in Dallas Texas. “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Ms. Kenne McFadden as they grieve anew with this update related to her death. Our wishes are for increased empowerment to all who strive to end the stigma, reduce anti-trans violence, and to create a world that respects and celebrates gender diversity.”

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.

NCAVP’s 2016 Hate Violence Report will be released on Monday, June 12th, 2017. If you are a member of the media and would like an embargoed copy of the report, please contact Sue Yacka: syacka@avp.org.

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.
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