October 1, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
NCAVP issues 2012 domestic violence report
Cathy Lanier, MPD, Metropolitan Police Department, gay news, Washington Blade

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told the Washington Blade last year that the problem of domestic violence in the nation’s capital is “huge.” (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A report the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released on Tuesday indicates nearly two dozen LGBT people and those with HIV/AIDS lost their lives to domestic violence last year.

NCAVP said 48 percent of the 21 reported LGBT victims of fatal domestic violence incidents in 2012 were gay men, compared to 29 percent who were lesbian. The report also found more than half of reported number of LGBT people who died because of domestic violence were people of color. And they, along with transgender people, gay men and those under 30 remain the most vulnerable to it.

The NCAVP report further noted the number of reported LGBT victims of fatal domestic violence incidents in 2012 is the highest number the group has documented since it began to issue reports on them in 1998.

“We are deeply concerned about the record high number of intimate partner violence homicides that occurred this year,” Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Program, said.

The NCAVP report contains data from anti-LGBT violence groups in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont.

Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence did not contribute to the NCAVP report, but D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told the Washington Blade during a June 2012 interview the problem of domestic violence in the nation’s capital is “huge.”

“Every morning when I look at my crime reports there are two things that stand out that have been unusual over the last year,” Lanier said. “The number of domestic violence assaults of all kinds and yes, in all communities, and the robberies.”

Stapel applauded the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the Violence Against Women Act that Congress approved in February.

The NCAVP report said less than four percent of LGBT victims of domestic violence sought access to shelter, although nearly 86 percent of them who requested refuge received it. This figure compares to NCAVP’s 2011 report that found 61 percent of LGBT victims of domestic violence who said they sought refuge in a shelter were turned away.

NCAVP also noted slightly more than 54 percent of LGBT victims of domestic violence reported incidents to law enforcement. This statistic is a nearly nine percent increase from 2011, but the 2012 report notes 28.4 percent of LGBT victims of domestic violence said authorities arrested them instead of the person whom they said abused them. NCAVP also said trans domestic violence victims were more than four times as likely to experience police brutality “within the context of an IPV (intimate partner violence) incident than those who are not trans.

M.E. Quinn, director of organizing and education at The Network/La Red, an organization in Boston that provides support and services to LGBT victims of domestic violence, described portions of the NCAVP report as “encouraging.”

“However there is clearly work to be done regarding police misarrest and police violence toward transgender people when responding to IPV incident(s,)” Quinn said.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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