2015 Hate Crime Report Shows Significant Disparities

By Todd Heywood

The 2015 Hate Crime Report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects reports significantly higher victimization of youth, people of color, and particularly transgender individuals.

The report, released last Tuesday, found 1,253 bias incidents in 11 states, including Michigan. That included the murder of 24 hate motivated murders, an increase of 20 percent over 2014 incidents. The majority of those murdered were transgender or gender nonconforming, the report said.

"Hate violence, including bias, discrimination, criminalization of our communities, and the presumption that violence against LGBTQ people is somehow permissible, is being written into our laws at an alarming rate," said Beverly Tillery at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. "Now is the time to hold our institutions and policy makers accountable. We cannot allow the codifying of violence against our communities through harmful legislation."

The report highlights why the Orlando massacre in the LGBT nightclub Pulse June 12 was particularly traumatic to the community across the country.

'Private residence (37%) followed by the street (21%) and the workplace (12%) were the most common places that survivors reported experiencing hate violence," the report noted. "Other places included non-LGBTQ specific venues (6%), shelters (4%), and police precincts, jails or police vehicles (2%)."

The report noted that one percent of the crimes occurred in LGBTQ specific venues.

Nearly two-thirds of victims reported knowing their attacker.

"People of color and undocumented survivors were more likely to experience physically violent forms of hate violence," a press release on the report noted.

In the Michigan specific section of the report, Equality Michigan reported an 11 percent decrease in the number of incidents reported to the agency.

This decline is in accordance with the past three years, where we've seen the number of reports decreasing slightly each year," the report noted. "This may indicate that there have been fewer incidents of violence. However, over these four years there have also been dramatic shifts in our department's staff in addition to high turnover in the organization overall - this means less capacity for outreach to LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities throughout the state."

As on a national level, Equality Michigan reported the majority of victims were under the age of 30. The agency also noted three murders.


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