Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) members of the community are a unique part of the diverse population that calls the District of Columbia home. The DC Center for the LGBT Community is proud to serve these citizens, and has been doing so for more than 10 years. Each week, we contact more than 7,000 members of the community through our mailing list, in addition to our social media outreach which has more than another 7,000 users checking our Facebook, Twitter and other platforms for information about what is going on in the community. Through our 14 programs such as Center Careers, the HIV Working Group, Center Youth, and the DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP) [formerly Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, or GLOV], as well as our services, we are led by our mission to celebrate, strengthen, and support community among the LGBT residents and organizations of Metropolitan Washington, DC.
LGBT individuals are at a high risk of being targeted in a hate/bias crime, and are an underserved population. According to the FBI annual report in 2014, 18.6% of all bias crimes had a bias based on sexual orientation. This is second only to racial bias. This is a decrease from the previous year, where bias crimes based on sexual orientation also had the second-highest incidence at 20.2%.
In DC in 2012, the number of bias crimes based on sexual orientation increased 10% from the previous year, and made up 56.8% of all bias crimes that year. The percentage of bias crimes based on sexual orientation increased 10.7% in 2012 from 46.1% of all bias crimes in 2011. This was only one of two types of bias crime to experience an increase in number from 2011, while the total number of overall bias crimes decreased by 11%. Bias crimes based on gender identity and expression made up 11% of all bias crimes in 2012. Over the past several years, the number of murders of transgender individuals in DC was covered in local and national media, bringing a great deal of attention to the number of unsolved homicides disproportionately affecting transgender members of the community.
According to a study on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) released by the CDC in 2010, 43.8% of lesbians and 61.1% of bisexual women have experienced IPV in their lifetime, compared to 35% of heterosexual women. 26% of gay men and 37.3% of bisexual men have experienced IPV in their lifetime, compared to 29% of heterosexual men. According to a national study on Transgender discrimination by the National Center of Transgender Equality in 2011, 19% of transgender individuals reported experiencing IPV by a family member because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.
In order the address the disproportionate impact that bias crimes and IPV have on members of the LGBT community, The DC Center has hired Sam Shinberg, LGSW, to fill the position of a Staff Social Worker for its DC Anti-Violence Project (DC AVP) with funds from the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). Sam will provide individual and group mental health support services, implementing clinically based interventions with the overarching goal of supporting and empowering LGBT survivors of violent crimes.
To best serve this community, The DC Center will also host its first annual Violence Prevention and Survivor Support Summit on May 31st from 6 -8 PM at 2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 105. This event is aimed at providing support for friends, family members, allies of those affected by violence in the LGBT community through training, education and discussion about ways to best provide the type of support survivors want and need.
Those who are interested in attending, presenting or providing training at the Violence Prevention and Survivor Support Summit, or referring individuals who might benefit from receiving counseling services and attending support groups can contact The DC Center at (202) 682-2245 or email Sam at email@example.com.