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NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a Two-Spirit Transgender Woman Killed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; the 2nd Reported Killing of a Transgender/ Gender Non-Conforming Person NCAVP Has Responded to in 2017

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, a 28-year-old two-spirit transgender woman found dead in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on January 6th, 2017. According to Mic, her death is being investigated as a homicide. Jamie identified as two-spirit, a Native American/First Nations term that has historically encompassed many mixed-gender roles; she also identified as a transgender woman. Since her death, friends and family have expressed their love for Jamie on Facebook, describing her as “originally from the Pine Ridge Indian reservation and a proud Oglala Lakota trans woman” and concluding: “our hearts are broken as we will miss her very much.”

“We are deeply saddened and send our thoughts to Jamie’s family and loved ones,” said Shelby Chestnut, Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “Jamie’s homicide is the second homicide of a transgender woman of color in 2017 and we are only seven days into the new year. Her homicide is especially troubling as it highlights the disproportionate impact violence has on trans people of color, especially two-spirit people who are often invisible within LGBTQ communities. Now more than ever we must defer to communities most impacted by this deadly violence and follow their leadership to find solutions to this violence.”

NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected 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 antiviolence 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.

Dominique Hernandez

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