Domestic violence in the LGBT community on the rise

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Intimate partner violence in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community rose steeply in 2011, according to a new report. The report was commissioned by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and it found 19 partner homicides in 2011. This was the highest ever documented, and more than three times the six documented homicides in 2010. A majority, 63 percent, of the victims were men.

The report found that LGBT people under 30 are twice as likely to experience physical violence and those under 30 and who are people of color are nearly four times as likely.

“It is not surprising that these homicides tended to be reported in regions where NCAVP member organizations are located,” said Tre’Andre Valentine, the director of Organizing and Education at the Network/La Red. “LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs are more likely to recognize 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 LGBTQ intimate partner violence.”

In 2011, NCAVP programs received 3,930 reports of intimate partner violence, a decrease of 22.2 percent from 2010. This decrease was due to a substantial 42.7 percent decrease in reports from the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, which lost funding and staff for their IPV programming. Excluding LAGLC’s reports, there was an 18.3 percent increase in reports of LGBTQH IPV nationwide.

“The decrease in overall reports of intimate partner violence this year, due to the IPV funding that we lost here at LAGLC, demonstrates the tremendous impact that funding has in allowing anti-violence programs to reach LGBTQH IPV survivors,” said Terra Slavin, lead staff attorney at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

The report found that LGBTQ people faced other barriers to services as well. More survivors in 2011 (61.6 percent) reported being denied access to shelter than in 2010 (44.6 percent).

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