A report on intimate partner violence in America’s LGBT community has found that gay men were disproportionately victims of homicide in 2011.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) documented 19 intimate partner violence (IPV) murders in 2011, the highest yearly total ever recorded by the coalition and more than three times the six documented cases in 2010.
The statistics were collated by anti-violence programs in 22 states across the US and covered Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected (LGBTQH) people.
In 2011, these programs received 3,930 reports of intimate partner violence.
Of the 19 IPV homicide victims, a majority (63.2%) were men, a significant shift from 2010 when 66.7% of LGBTQH homicide victims identified as women.
“This year’s report indicates that men are disproportionately victims of homicide in incidents of intimate partner violence,” said Gary Heath, from the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organisation in Ohio. “NCAVP’s report shows that the societal understanding of IPV survivors needs to expand to include gay men,” he added.
Tre’Andre Valentine, from the Network/La Red in Boston, Massachusetts noted that the homicides tended to be reported in regions where NCAVP member organisations are located, but said that this was not surprising.
“LGBTQH-specific anti-violence programs are more likely to recognise the signs of intimate partner violence, which law enforcement may overlook, and can document these homicides because we spend every day raising awareness about the issue of LGBTQH intimate partner violence.”
The 2011 report also highlights a number of other disturbing trends concerning the severity of violence experienced by LGBTQH people in the US.
This report shows that LGBTQH people under 30 were approaching two times (1.59) as likely to experience physical violence. Within this vulnerable population, LGBTQH people of colour under 30 were nearly four times (3.98) as likely to experience physical violence.
Disturbingly, the report found that LGBTQH people also faced barriers to services. More survivors in 2011 (61.6%) reported being denied access to shelter than in 2010 (44.6%).
“We need more programs and services focused on LGBTQH youth and youth of colour,” said Sandhya Luther from the Colorado Anti-Violence Program.
“These findings underscore the need for policymakers and funders to fund LGBTQH anti-violence organisations to conduct intimate partner violence prevention initiatives, particularly prevention programs for youth and young adults.”