The United States reported around 1,400 incidents  of hate-crime attacks against the LGBTQI community in 2019, according to statistics released by the FBI. One in five of all hate crime attacks were directed against the LGBTQI community. Gay men were the victims in a majority of the cases and there was an increase in gender identity based hate crimes from the previous year.  

The FBI said that around 7,314 hate crimes were reported across the US – the highest in over a decade – with around 55.8% of the attacks relating to bias on account of the victim’s race, ethnicity or ancestry.

US-based LGBTQI advocacy group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) labelled the data released by the FBI as ‘troubling.’

 

“Yet another year with alarming levels of bias-motivated crimes underscores just how urgent it is to address this hate crimes epidemic,” said HRC President Alphonso David in a statement.

“This year, we saw a tragic new record of fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people in this country, particularly against Black and Brown transgender women. These alarming statistics represent real trauma for individuals and families across this country who have to bear the brunt of these hate crimes. As the Biden-Harris administration assumes office, we must recommit ourselves to advocating for mandatory hate crimes reporting across the country, better training for law enforcement officers to recognise bias-motivated crimes, and greater inclusion and equity in our communities,” said David.

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 HRC pointed out that the data, while important, might not give a complete picture as reporting hate crimes to the FBI was not mandatory. According to HRC, the number of state law enforcement agencies reporting data on hate crimes had decreased and around 71 cities with populations over 100,000 had not reported or reported zero hate crimes.

Of the 7,314 incidents reported, 7,103 involved a single bias, and the remaining 211 had multiple biases. In the incidents that involved a single bias, around 55.8% were motivated by the victim’s race, ethnicity or ancestry. In 16.8% sexual orientation was a factor, while 2.7% were the result of gender identity bias. The other factors were religious (21.4%), disability (2.2) and gender (1%).

In around 746 case of hate crimes, gay men were the targets. 291 cases were classified as anti-LGBTQI attacks, followed by 151 against transgender persons, lesbian women (115), gender non-conforming (47) and bissexual (26) persons. The FBI also reported around 17 cases of anti-heterosexual bias in its data relating to sexual orientation. The attacks against transgender and gender non-confirming persons had increased from 2.2% in 2018 to 2.7% in 2019.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

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