LGBT+ Americans are a massive four times more likely to be victims of violent crime, including sexual attack.
Meanwhile they are far more likely to suffer violence from someone they know well. And lesbian, bi and trans women are at particularly high risk of violence.
That’s according to the latest research from the highly-respected Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2017 National Crime Victimization Survey. It was the first US-wide, comprehensive data on victims to include information on sexuality orientation and gender identity.
The report’s lead author Andrew Flores, an affiliated scholar at the Williams Institute, said:
‘It is clear that LGBT people are at greater risk of violent victimization, but the question is why.
‘One plausible cause is anti-LGBT prejudice at home, work, or school, which would make LGBT people particularly vulnerable to victimization in numerous areas of their everyday life.’
Women at particular risk
In particular researchers found LGBT+ people are four times more likely than straight, cisgender people to suffer violence. This includes rape, sexual attacks, aggravated assault or simple assault.
Indeed, LGBT+ Americans had higher rates of almost every type of violent crime except robbery. In the case of robbery, LGBT+ people were just as likely to be victims as others.
In 2017, LGBT+ Americans suffered 71.1 attacks per 1,000 people. That compares to 19.2 ‘victimizations’ per 1,000 people for non-LGBT+ people.
Moreover, lesbian, bi and trans women are at even higher risk. They are five times more likely than other women to experience violent victimization.
Likewise, gay, bi and trans men are more than twice as likely to be victims than straight, cis men.
Meanwhile, LGBT+ Americans are more likely to suffer attacks from both strangers and people they know well.
They are 2.5 times more likely for a stranger to attack them. But they are also six times more likely for someone they know well to be the attacker.
Concluding the report, the researchers say:
‘Federal, state, and local interventions to reduce victimization should take into account the different rates of victimization of [LGBT+] and non-[LGBT+]s and the unique and common ways in which [LGBT+] populations experience and are susceptible to violence and other forms of crime.
‘However, research finds that law enforcement and antiviolence programs and services are sometimes not equipped to serve [LGBT+] populations.’
They also say the National Crime Victimization Survey should re-start monitoring the sexual orientation and gender identity of respondents. It dropped this in 2018 under President Donald Trump’s administration.