October 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Advocacy group issues annual domestic violence report

Tamala Harris, stabbing, gay news, Washington Blade

Tamala Harris faces a second-degree murder charge for allegedly stabbing her girlfriend to death in Baltimore on Sept. 23. (Photo courtesy of Baltimore City Police)

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

The organization reported 21 LGBT people were killed during domestic violence incidents in 2013, which is the same number of victims it noted in its 2012 report. NCAVP said these two figures are the highest number of reported domestic violence-related deaths of LGBT people since it began tracking them in 1998.

NCAVP noted 76 percent of the LGBT victims of fatal domestic violence incidents last year were gay men, compared to only 46 percent in 2012.

The report indicates slightly more than 50 percent of all LGBT victims of domestic violence are people of color. NCAVP further notes transgender people, bisexuals and undocumented LGBT immigrants are more likely to experience sexual and physical violence and injuries due to domestic violence.

“The truly alarming number of gay men killed due to intimate partner violence indicates a need to expand the national discourse around intimate partner violence, to ensure that it includes gay men, bisexual people, transgender and gender non-conforming people,” said Justin Shaw, executive director of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, in a NCAVP press release. “This is a crisis that affects everyone.”

Paul Tupper, chair of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence in D.C., had a similar reaction.

“This report is a stark reminder that our community is not immune to intimate partner violence,” he told the Washington Blade.

Several publicized domestic violence incidents among same-sex partners and others in the D.C. area and around the country in recent months have only underscored the problem.

Baltimore prosecutors have charged Tamala Harris with second-degree murder and other charges for allegedly stabbing her girlfriend, Tekaya Amanda Johnson, to death on Sept. 23.

Three D.C. police officers in August saved the life of a lesbian domestic violence victim in Southeast Washington after her girlfriend allegedly stabbed her. Maya Sheila Moore was charged with assault with intent to kill while armed in connection with the incident.

The National Football League last month indefinitely suspended former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after TMZ Sports released a video of him punching his then-fiancée inside an elevator at an Atlantic City, N.J., casino.

The Rainbow Response Coalition, a D.C. group that combats domestic violence among LGBT people and offers assistance to victims, did not immediately respond to the Blade’s request for comment on the NCAVP report.

Tupper highlighted the Rainbow Response Coalition, GLOV and D.C. SAFE (Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment) as groups that serve LGBT victims of domestic violence. The LGBTQ Violence Response Hotline at 202-888-7222 offers additional resources and support.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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