Sunday, February 15, 2009

Anti-Transgender Hate Crimes Victimization Study

In 2001, the Massachusetts Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes issued a regulation defining “gender identity bias” as a covered category of hate crime motivation for purposes of the Hate Crimes Reporting Act. Under that statute, law enforcement agencies are called upon to report hate crimes to the Crime Reporting Unit of the State Police.

Eight years later, not a single case of anti-trans bias crime has been reported to the State Police.

Official information about anti-transgender hate crimes is severely lacking, which is hindering the development of effective public policy responses.

The Anti-Violence Project, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition and the Violence Recovery Program of Fenway Health, is conducting a victimization study, which covers

· Acts of assault and battery and vandalism;
· Committed against a trans-identified person anywhere in the United States since 1/1/01;

· Where the victim has reason to believe that bias related to gender identity or expression was a contributing factor.

Survey instrument includes 14 questions exploring variables including injury to victims, weapons use, locations, and bias indicators.

Questions track the data points as to which law enforcement agencies are instructed to supply information about hate crime episodes under the Hate Crimes Reporting Act.

Study will also include a survey of psychological, criminological, and sociological scholarly literature about anti-trans hate crimes; and a discussion of known anti-trans murders, which suggest the testable hypothesis that anti-trans crimes often present heightened brutality, cruelty, physical force, and injury to victims.

Anti-trans crimes will be considered in context with sexual orientation-related and gender-based hate crimes, which overlap and have underlying similarities.

Study to culminate in a Report providing summary and analysis of anti-trans hate crime episodes and their characteristics and painting a composite picture of anti-trans victimization.

Report to be provided to law enforcement agencies, policy-makers, anti-violence advocates, and the media, to support informed and effective public policy development.

Trans victims from across the country can request copies of the survey instrument, a MS Word document by email to .

Thanks again to Don Gorton for calling out issues such as these. Just to refresh people's memory here is a video of the hate crime attack on a trangender in Lowell 2007:

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