NCAVP Releases 2006 Report on Domestic Violence
Report provides unique snapshot of intimate partner violence experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people
July 12, 2007
New York – The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), an LGBT-specific network of community-based organizations, released its Annual Report on Domestic Violence within Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Communities in the United States. The 43 page report compiled by the New York -based coalition includes data regarding over 3,000 individuals who experienced domestic violence. Fourteen of 33 NCAVP member programs contributed to this year’s report. Participating regions include Tucson, AZ, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Colorado, Chicago, IL, Massachusetts, Minnesota; Kansas City, MO, New York, NY, Columbus, OH, Pennsylvania, and Houston, TX.
There were 3,534 reported incidents of domestic violence affecting LGBT individuals in 2006, a decrease of 15% over incidents recorded in the 2005 report. However, this decrease does not necessarily indicate that LGBT domestic violence is declining. Numerous factors influence whether or not a victim of domestic violence will seek help through an organization or a hotline, including visibility of the local organization, fears on the part of the victim of being “outed,” and fear of bringing shame to ones family or community. Additionally, individual organizational capacity and ability to participate in this report shift somewhat from year to year which could also account for the numerical difference.
Demographically, the report found that most organizations receive about equal numbers of reports from gay male and lesbian victims of domestic violence. Reports from people of transgender experience typically hover around 5-10% of the total. Race or ethnic identity of victims was also documented in the report. Of the victims for whom race and ethnic information was know, white victims accounted for 43%, followed by Latino/a victims (27%) and African American victims (15%). Multi-racial identified victims accounted for 7%, Asian/Pacific Islanders accounted for 3%. Indigenous people, and those of Middle-Eastern descent accounted for 2% each.
NCAVP members compiled additional statisticl information, such as rates of weapons use in a domestic violence incident, police involvement, and police misconduct. Police were involved in about 26% of all reported cases for 2006. Of those, about 8% reported police misconduct (defined as verbal or physical abuse, and/or the use of anti-LGBT slurs).
In addition to the quantitative information, the NCAVP report also includes personal narratives from LGBT survivors reporting from various regions, as well as a directory of local NCAVP member programs, an overview of academic studies conducted on LGBT domestic violence, and recommendations for changes to end discrimination and re-victimization of LGBT people who experience domestic violence.
Clarence Patton, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project emphasized the importance of this report, “In a changing political climate where issues like hate violence legislation and the gay marriage debate are routinely making headlines, we must ensure that the voices of survivors and victims of violence within our communities are heard. Pressure to keep silent about violence within ones relationship can be overwhelming and LGBT inclusive services are still hard to come by.”
“This report is an important step in breaking that silence and contributing to a world where LGBT communities and our allies support each other, not only in eliminating discrimination against our communities in domestic violence services, but in eliminating domestic violence itself,” concluded Patton.
The full report can be viewed here
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs addresses the pervasive problem of violence committed against and within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive communities. NCAVP is a coalition of programs that document and advocate for victims of anti-LGBT and anti-HIV/AIDS violence/harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, police misconduct and other forms of victimization. Further, NCAVP supports existing anti-violence organizations and emerging local programs in their efforts to document and prevent such violence.