Monday, March 29, 2010

Supporting LGBT Victims of Crime

The National Center for Victims of Crime and and The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs recently released a report, "Why It Matters: Rethinking Victim Assistance for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Victims of Hate Violence and Intimate Partner Violence." (Download the full PDF here.)

This report is the product of a 2009 nationwide survey of mainstream victim assistance providers and anti-violence programs serving the LGBT community. It describes widespread gaps in victim services for gay victims of crime and recommends steps to improve both the services and their accessibility.

Among its finding:
  • LGBT victims do not have consistent access to culturally competent services to prevent or help victims recover from violence. For example, most respondent organizations lack outreach to gay victims, cultural competence training for staff, gay-positive/specific victim services policies and practices, and collaboration with LGBT providers.
  • Mainstream victim assistance agencies do not provide a culturally sensitive response to these victims, and gay-specific anti-violence programs either lack resources to meet the need or simply do not exist. As a result, LGBT victims suffer disproportionately from violence and its aftereffects.
  • Only six percent of survey respondents reported that the majority of the victims they served were LGBT people, and the types of services these agencies offer to victims differ significantly.
The report suggest that in order to address these problems, we need to eliminate the obstacles that prevent LGBT victims from reporting crimes and accessing victim services. Law enforcement agencies often underestimate the levels of violence against these victims, and the victims - fearing discrimination and further consequences - often hesitate to report partner/domestic/hate-crime violence or to seek victim services.

The National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs recommend work to:
  • Build collaboration among LGBT anti-violence programs and mainstream victim assistance providers to increase the availability of culturally competent services for gay victims of crime by providing gay-specific training for criminal and civil justice system personnel and victim assistance providers.
  • Assess and evaluate the implementation of state and federal protections for victims of crime and implement policy and legislative changes to assure that LGBT victims have equal access to protections.
  • Increase public awareness of the extent and impact of victimization against LGBT individuals and communities and on crime victims’ rights and services through national and local public awareness, education, and outreach campaigns.
  • Increase state and federal funding for collaboration, training, outreach, services, research, and data collection on the victimization of gay people.
It can be difficult to measure an unaddressed need, simply because we don't know what we don't know.

It's even more difficult when dealing with victims of violence. Even when victims do report the violence, fear of revictimization or lack of knowledge on the part of responders may result in victims receiving services without being identified as being part of the gay community. Service providers may not have the mechanisms to properly document LGBT relationships or sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

"With this report, the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs have taken the first step in an initiative between mainstream victim assistance providers and LGBTQ-specific anti-violence programs to increase the efficacy of outreach, prevention, justice, and direct services for LGBTQ individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime.

We invite federal, national, state, tribal, local, and individual collaborators to join us in this endeavor. This initiative must encompass cross-training and collaboration; LGBTQ-specific training for law enforcement and victim assistance agencies; more resources for LGBTQ anti-violence programs; public awareness, education, and outreach; and more consistent LGBTQ-focused research and data collection.

Advocacy to change laws and policies that address the victimization of LGBTQ people is integral to this effort to provide LGBTQ victims with equal access to victims’ rights and services."

2 comments:

  1. Great!! I'm looking forward to read another info regarding this.. just looking around to have an idea.. See my termpapers =) Thank's !!

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  2. I am a gay male. For months on a job I was repeatedly called faggot by management and touched by another employee in my private areas in front of management. HR was notified and management and other employees were terminated. I returned to work to find a new hostile work environment. Other employees have stated they believe I was still discriminated against for an unknown reason. I started seeing a psychiatrist and was placed on meds. I was diagnosed with a disorder steming from the issues at that job. I was told by HR after filing a charge with the EEOC i would be paid to take off work a few months and meds would be paid for. They agreed to pay for 6 psychiatric visits. This is the only part of the agreement they have taken care of. My therapist is now pro bono and my Psychiatrist feels I need more time and visits. This is something the company refuses to pay for. I have been forced to pay for medication I cant afford with the promise of reimbursement. After I refused to close the file with the EEOC I was terminated and the company refused to pay for the meds that costed me over 300 dollars. HR tried to get me to agree to deal with them and close this matter with the EEOC, when I refused I was cut off the promised payed time off and medication reimbursement. HR then asked me to return to work AMA (against medical advice) and by refusing, Lori Mayette the director of HR said that was my resignation. I did not quit, I was terminated by not complying with their desire to close the file with the EEOC. I need some legal assistance . I am jobless, broke, in need of psychiatric help and believe this company is just hoping I will give up. Luihn Foods who owns over 80 KFC franchises is the company I worked for.

    Marty Folks

    (919) 610-5666

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