According to a new report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), both LGBT and HIV infected persons face barriers to basic services and help when they report incidents of domestic violence.
The NCAVP reached this conclusion by analysing 2,000 reported incidents reported to them, and found that victims of violence were often denied services and even treated as criminals when reporting the crime.
Half of the people who asked for emergency shelter were denied, and a quarter of people found the police to be “hostile” or “indifferent” when reporting an incident, according to the report. Shockingly, one third of people faced arrest after reporting.
The NCAVP are looking at intimate partner violence here, which includes threats and intimidation from both current and past lovers, and occasionally roommates.
Their report also found worrying statistics for transgender women, as they discovered that trans women faced physical and financial abuse at rates three times higher than other people within the LGBT community. Undocumented LGBT people saw their reports of violence double from 4% to 9%.
A trans woman who wished to remain anonymous was quoted in the report, saying: “I sought help from the local domestic violence shelter”, and apparently she had to use a men’s shelter to obtain help, “but they could not guarantee my attacker would not enter the shelter. They had no protocol for LGBT anything.”
Also according to their findings, 71% of people reporting intimate partner violence were denied entry into shelters due to their gender identity.
According to Beverly Tillery, the executive director of New York Anti-Violence Project, limited awareness is a major obstacle to reform.
She said: “The lack of … visibility in the media of LGBTQ victims of IPV contributes to this issue being ignore as a national problem, [and] this needs to change.”