Anti-LGBT Bias Violence and Reporting

Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

by Emilia Dunham

Program Associate, reporting at Creating Change workshop: National Reporting and Data-Driven Advocacy: Ending Anti-LGBTQ Violence with the NCAVP

Today I attending a workshop on a familiar subject: LGBTQ biased violence. At Northeastern, I was involved with our Campus Center on Violence Against Women, realizing how little resources and information was provided and known about LGBTQ survivors. Fortunately I was able to work with the supportive program to raise more awareness and create more support for us. After taking an LGBTQ inclusive course on family violence. However after this workshop I realized how seldom this knowledge is available. Below I want to share the reality of the picture and what can be done.



  • In recent years, even with more calls to the police from LGBTQ survivors there are high rates of police misconduct (harassment) and false arrests (arresting both partners).
  • Of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, 79% were against people of color, 50% of those murdered were transgender women
  • Despite enactment of Matthew Shepard Act, there were still significant cuts to anti-violence LGBT programs
  • Law enforcement, prosecutors, general violence programs don’t work with LGBT violence programs.
  • 84% precincts reported no kinds of hate crimes at all (even race), so we shouldn’t focus on prevalence so much as whether these crimes exist
  • Coincidences of LGBT bias hate-crimes with national LGBT news (national conversation on LGBT issues like marriage)


  • Collect more expansive and exhaustive demographic information
  • To collect different types of violence: sexual violence and pick-up violence (against sex workers)
  • Organizations are the ones doing the reporting
  • Data is the story: organizations collect quantitative and qualitative data

What can be done? (effective suggestions)

  • Use data to show need for funding to support this great work
  • Get LGBTQ inclusion in the Violence Against Woman Act grant. With that hope, LGBTQ anti-violence programs may receive more funding and allow training.
  • Legislative visits (Lobbying, protocol shifts)
  • Grants and education (statements of need, demonstrate national coalition work and services provided for funders)
  • Training and education (numbers and reports needed, present models of promising practices)
  • Promoting policy change and shifts (illustrate how policies contribute to and are sources of violence with specifics, show how increased funding can make a difference, show evidenced-based practice)
  • Community organizing (compelling statistics can be used for promotion/media, awareness-raising campaigns)

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

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