Just in time for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, held annually on November 20th, NCTE has published a small manual called Responding to Hate Crimes: A Community Resource Manual, which, according to NCTE’s Simon Aronoff, “represents a holistic, community-based approach to responding to hate violence in a wya that aims to curb the number of attacks faced by transgender people.”
Read the full press release from NCTE below the break, and read or download a copy of the manual at NCTE’s website: http://www.nctequality.org/resources/hatecrimes.pdf
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Contact: Simon Aronoff, Deputy Director, 202.903.0112, office; email@example.com
National Center for Transgender Equality Launches â€œResponding to Hate Crimesâ€ Manual
Transgender People Among Most Targeted Populations for Hate Violence
Useful Resource for Local â€œTransgender Day of Remembranceâ€ Vigils
(WASHINGTON, DC) â€” On Tuesday, November 14, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a resource designed to help communities respond effectively in the aftermath of hate crimes against transgender people. â€œResponding to Hate Crimes: A Community Resource Manualâ€ (http://www.nctequality.org/resources/hatecrimes.pdf) will be widely distributed to local advocates organizing Transgender Day of Remembrance vigils around the country later this month. The Day of Remembrance is annually observed on or around November 20. NCTEâ€™s â€œResponding to Hate Crimesâ€ manual represents a holistic, community-based approach to responding to hate violence in a way that aims to curb the number of attacks faced by transgender people.
â€œThe Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn time to reflect on those who have been murdered because of their gender identity or expression,â€ said Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director. â€œThe National Center for Transgender Equality and our allies have made great strides advocating for federal Hate Crimes legislation to explicitly include crimes based on â€˜gender identity and expressionâ€™â€”the language that covers transgender individuals, but we will need to continue educating policymakers about the rampant violence targeted at our communities.â€
Studies estimate the murder rate of transgender persons as high as 16 times the national average. Approximately one murder is reported each month in the U.S.; however, experts believe hate crimes against transgender individuals are significantly under-reported because of pervasive doubts that authorities will treat victims with respect or fairly investigate the crimes. Despite the frequency of hate violence against transgender people, the FBI does not track or keep statistics on attacks that target transgender individuals.
Recognizing the level of violence facing transgender communities, ten states explicitly cover transgender people in their hate crimes laws with â€œgender identity or expressionâ€ language (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Vermont). While no transgender-inclusive federal law has been enacted, in 2005 the National Center for Transgender Equality was instrumental in passing an inclusive federal hate crimes bill through the U.S. House of Representativesâ€”the first time a transgender-inclusive bill was passed in either chamber of Congress.
The causes of transphobic violence are often more complex than discrimination based on gender identity or expression alone. Employment discrimination, high unemployment rates, and economic and social marginalization put transgender people in higher risk situations for violence. Race also plays a significant role in who is targeted in attacks, with young transgender women of color the most frequently victimized.
â€œThe news is all too familiar to our communityâ€”a transgender person violently attacked because of another personâ€™s hatred or fear,â€ said Justin Tanis, NCTEâ€™s Program Manager and a principle editor of the manual.
â€œHate crimes have a devastating impact on victims and survivors as well as on the larger transgender community,â€ said Richard Juang, co-editor of Transgender Rights and co-chair of NCTEâ€™s Board of Advisors. â€œOur goal in developing this manual was to share practical ideas for working with crime victims, family members, law enforcement, and the media so local organizers responding to hate crimes have the information they need at their finger tips.â€
A wide range of community leaders and professionals contributed to â€œResponding to Hate Crimes: A Community Resource Manualâ€, including people with expertise in anti-violence work, law enforcement, mental health, media relations and community organizing.
To download a free copy of â€œResponding to Hate Crime: A Community Resource Manual,â€ please visit http://www.nctequality.org/resources/hatecrimes.pdf .
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was established to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998, kicked off the â€œRemembering Our Deadâ€ web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. For more information, please visit http://gender.org/remember/day/index.html.
About the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE):
The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization. For more information, please visit www.nctequality.org.