There are stats that track LGBTQ hate crimes, but did you know the FBI doesn’t specifically track crime data as it relates to transgender individuals? Because of this, it is difficult to pull out specific statistics that affect this specific demographic. What is disturbing, however, is that victimization rates are trending upward with the LGBTQ group as a whole when overall crime rates are going down.
In 2012, the LGBTQ community suffered the 4th highest murder rate in the history of tracking hate crime data.
Transgender Hate Crime Facts
On the surface, the 16.7% drop in the homicide rate looks like a good thing until you realize that the previous year, 2011, was the record high for this form of violence. Unless action is taken to proactively prevent these hate crimes against the transgender population from occurring, then these stats are continue to be disturbing.
- People of color are more likely to suffer from a hate crime than Caucasians when it comes to LGBTQ hate crimes.
- Half of all reported murders occurred to black or African-American victims, even though they made up just 15% of total survivors and victims of hate crime.
- Transgender people were found to be 3.32 times as likely to experience police violence compared to other victim and survivor groups.
- Transgender people are also 2.46 more likely to experience some form of physical violence than other groups.
It is rather disturbing to see that the transgender population doesn’t have any specific tracking data associated with it, even though they are one of the most targeted groups of people in the LGBTQ community, just behind gay men. When you factor in other variables, such as homelessness, that naturally increase the chances of a hate crime occurring, the data shows that the chances of a hate crime continue to increase. With nearly 20% of the population experiencing some form of harassment or intimidation in the past 3 years simply because of their orientation, the time is now to start protecting this community.
What Makes the Transgender Community More Vulnerable?
- Only 56% of survivors of a hate crime ever report the incident to a law enforcement official.
- Nearly 80% of hate violence incidents were classified as a bias crime, which was 22 percentage points higher than in 2011, the record high for violent hate crime incidents.
- 2 out of every 5 victims of a hate crime report having some form of a disability because of the attack they suffered.
- 20% of the reported hate crime incidents that occurred to transgender individuals involved at least 2 people and may have had up to 5 people participating in the incident.
Hidden within these statistics is the effects that a hate crime has on a transgender individual’s mental health. More than half of them that have survived a hate crime have a disability that is related to their mental health. Another 35% of survivors have developed some sort of learning disability that wasn’t present before the hate crime incident. Even more disturbing is the fact that over 5% of survivors wind up being either blind or deaf permanently because of a hate crime. Although white men make up the largest demographic of offender, nearly 1 in 4 hate crime incidents occur at the hands of police. Is it any wonder then that the LGBTQ community is extremely hesitant to report a hate crime when it occurs.
Where Do Transgender Hate Crimes Occur?
- The most common place for a hate crime to occur is at a person’s private residence. 1 out of every 4 incidents will occur on the street.
- Outside of the United States, Brazil is the most dangerous place for a transgender person to live as 95 hate crime murders were reported in the last year alone. Mexico is the second-worst place to live with 40 reported murders.
- In the first 10 months of 2013, the highest reported rates of global murders associated to transgender individuals because of bias or hate in history were recorded.
- 1 in every 3 gender variance individuals will hide the preferences for more than 20 years. Only 14% of individuals will immediately report their preferences.
- 38% of transgender victims hide their gender preferences for a minimum of 10 years. Because of this, hate crimes may happen that are never reported as such because of a fear of being “outted.”
- When single bias hate crime incidents occur, 1 out of every 5 is because of sexual orientation.
- Even though 1 out of every 5 transgender individuals will be the victim of a hate crime in the next 12 months, only 1 out of 4 will ever report it.
We’ve got to take away the stigma that exists with transgender individuals. They are human, just like anyone else, and deserve the same dignity and respect. Yet because they are often seen as different by other demographics, they are seen as something scary. It’s that fear that becomes the foundation of bias and ultimately the justification for a hate crime to occur – assuming the state or country has laws that protect transgender individuals. 14 states right now in the US do not include sexual orientation or gender preference as a qualifier for a hate crime. This means that the actual incidents that are happening are likely under-reported because law enforcement officials aren’t classifying a crime as a hate crime in these states when it occurs to a targeted transgender individual, even if it is a hate crime. It’s 2014. It’s time to change. If we do not, then we’ll never get the chance to grow.
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