The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)’s annual Hate Violence Report has shown a 28 percent increase in the number of LGBT hate crime incidents reported in 2008.

A total of 29 anti-LGBT motivated killings were reported in 2008, the highest number since 1999. Overall, the number of victims who reported anti-LGBT violence in 2008 increased by two percent compared to 2007. The largest increase was in Milwaukee, where the number of reported incidents rose to 18 in 2008 from 11 in 2007.

NCAVP, a coalition of over 35 local anti-violence programs across the US, draws data from programs in Milwaukee, Minnesota, Chicago, Los Angeles, Colorado, Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Pennsylvania, New York City, Kansas City, Missouri, Michigan and San Francisco.

Coalition officials say their figures are more accurate than those from law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, who do not record bias crimes against transgender people because gender identity isn’t covered by federal hate-crime law.

“NCAVP member organisations are a true resource for tens of thousands of LGBT people across the country,” said Avy Skolnik, the New York City Anti-Violence Project’s Coordinator of Statewide and National Programs. “This report demonstrates the need for more local programs throughout the United States, particularly in regions where no such resource or program exists.”

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