New Report Examines Intimate Partner Violence in LGBTQ, HIV+ Communities

Violence against the LGBTQ and HIV-positive communities is often thought of in terms of attacks from the outside in the forms of hate-motivated crimes, police misconduct, and mass incarceration. However, violence that comes from within the community – specifically, Intimate Partner Violence (IVP) – often goes woefully underreported and ignored. To address this critical issue, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has released a comprehensive report titled Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence in 2014.

The report is the result of data collection from 16 anti-violence programs from 13 different states, including Fenway Health’s own Violence Recovery Program (VRP).

“The VRP has been contributing to these reports for many years,” said Cara Presley, Violence Recovery Program Manager. “Data findings that have been consistent for us, as well as for other organizations across the country, are that transgender people are disproportionately experiencing and reporting incidents of violence, including IVP.”

There is great stigma around IVP, particularly in the LGBTQ community, Presley added. Despite the increase in reported incidents of IVP, many more victims are still remaining silent about their trauma.

According to NCAVP, the goal of this yearly report is document and raise awareness of the prevalence of violence in these communities, advocate for policy and funding changes that will increase resources to address LGBTQ violence, and recommend strategies to prevent, respond to, and end said violence. Some of the major takeaways of the report found that:

  • For a fourth year in a row, cisgender men killed by their male partners were most impacted by IPV homicide.
  • LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities of color, bisexual survivors, transgender communities, and cisgender male survivors were uniquely and disproportionately impacted by IPV.
  • LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors on public assistance were more likely to face physical violence and injury as a result of IPV.
  • A higher percentage of LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of intimate partner violence attempted to access the police, courts, and domestic violence shelters for support compared to previous years.

“On a positive note, we are hearing and learning more about IVP in these communities,” Presley said. “Now we need to continue bringing attention to these [IVP] trends.”

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