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NCAVP mourns the intimate partner violence related homicide of Devon Wade in Houston, TX

NCAVP mourns the death of Devon Wade, who was fatally shot early in the morning of November 27, 2017. According to media reports, he was shot by Mario Jerrell Williams, who called himself his boyfriend, following a dispute at Devon’s home. Williams has been taken into custody. Devon, who was finishing his doctorate at Columbia, was honored during a vigil in New York City on the night of the 27th.

We mourn the loss of Devon Wade, who is the 16th LGTBQ victim of fatal intimate partner violence NCAVP has counted this year, and send love and care to his friends and loved ones. Devon, who was working to end carceral violence and disrupt the prison pipeline, was a beloved member of the Columbia University, Louisiana State University, and Kappa Alpha Psi communities. Many spoke out on social media to remember his life, and Devon was remembered in an article describing his work to help marginalized communities: “Wade worked fervently so that those without a “bright future”—individuals who often fall between the cracks of mass incarceration, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia—would not be forgotten. That memory should not be erased.”

Though not often talked about, intimate partner violence (IPV) affects LGBTQ people at the same or higher rates than non-LGBTQ people. And yet, LGBTQ people continue to experience discrimination and violence when accessing care and support around relationship violence.  This is particularly true for gay and bisexual men, and for transgender and gender non-conforming survivors, who fall outside the traditional understanding of IPV occurring in cisgender, heteronormative relationships.  We must work together to support each other as a community, and help support those who might be in abusive relationships, and we must also work to enrich our narratives and models of what healthy, loving LGBTQ relationships look like.

In memory of Devon Wade.

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. Read the full list here.

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. If you have witnessed or experienced violence, or if you want support, you can call NYC AVP’s hotline anytime, at 212 714 1141 or use the online reporting form.

Larissa Pham

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