E-NEWS - 2009

Rape of LGBT Prisoners – A Hate Crime

June 16, 2009 -

Los Angeles and Washington, DC, June 16, 2009. Just Detention International (JDI) welcomes the release today of the 2008 report on Hate Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People in the United States, published by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). The report provides the most recent data available on violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. This year's report also includes a section by JDI, highlighting the rampant sexual abuse of LGBT prisoners.

The FBI has defined a hate crime as "a criminal offense committed against a person, property, or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin." LGBT prisoners are disproportionately targeted for sexual abuse because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Therefore, this form of violence constitutes a hate crime.

"Every day, the lives of countless U.S. prisoners are shattered by sexual abuse. An alarming proportion of these inmates are gay or transgender," said Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of JDI. "The trauma that LGBT prisoner rape survivors experience is made worse by the homophobia and derision they frequently encounter when attempting to file a formal complaint of a sexual assault."

The section of the NCAVP report on sexual abuse of LGBT prisoners includes personal accounts from some of the survivors who wrote to JDI in the past year.

Click here to read Hate Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People in the United States. For further information or to arrange an interview with an LGBT prisoner rape survivor, please contact JDI's Program Associate, Edward Cervantes, at (213) 384-1400 ext. 105 or ecervantes@justdetention.org.

For more information about the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, please visit their website: www.ncavp.org

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