As the hashtag Orlando United Day commemorating the victims of the Orlando's Pulse Nightclub massacre marks one year anniversary, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, NCAVP, released a report recording a drastic surge in hate crimes against the LGBTQ communities in 2016.
NCAVP recorded a total of 77 hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in 2016, including the 49 lives taken during the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June, 2016. The massacre was also deemed as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. modern history.
According to the report, in 2016, NCAVP reported 1,036 incidents, based on information collected from 12 anti-violence organizations across the country. There were 27 homicides of LGBTQ people recorded, out of which 79 percent were people of color: 64 percent of people who were Black and 15 percent were of Latin American descent. And 61 percent killed were below the age of 35.
The coalition that has been publishing the annual report on the LGBTQ hate crimes, since 1997 stated the most severely impacted, are people of color, transgender, and gender non-conforming people as they make up the majority of victims of LGBTQ and HIV-affected related hate violence.
The number of killings last year was the highest since 2012 as 25 people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, LGBT, were killed. But after including the victims of the Pulse massacre, murders of LGBT people rose 217 percent in 2016 and not all of those killed in the nightclub attack were LGBT.
The report said the current “incendiary political climate" is making the LGBTQ communities more vulnerable.
Beverly Tillery, New York City Anti-Violence Project, said in a statement, “Recent executive orders as well as ongoing efforts to pass anti-LGBTQ legislation and roll back protections at the city, state, and federal level make LGBTQ people vulnerable to identity-based discrimination."
The report also stated that LGBTQ people of color with disabilities are twice as likely to face discrimination compared to the white, able-bodied people.
Researchers estimate that 28 percent of mass shooting survivors will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. According to NPR, a year following the Pulse club massacre incident, survivors and the loved ones of people of the Orlando massacre continue to suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues.
“The enormous tragedy at Pulse Nightclub, in concert with the daily violence and discrimination that pervades our lives as LGBTQ people … have created a perfect storm of fear and trauma for our communities this year,” Melissa Brown with the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, and a member of the coalition, said in a statement.
The report also stated 35 percent of the survivors who reported to the police experienced indifference while 31 percent said the police were hostile. Fifty-two survivors reported misconduct following a hate incident including violence, including excessive force, unjustified arrest, entrapment and raids. Also, Black survivors were 2.8 times more likely to experience an excessive force from the police than other races.