Hate crime reporting continues to be a flawed process, but the numbers released last year show anti-LGBTQ violence agianst LGBTQ’s is on the rise, even if only by a bit.
Virginia doesn’t include LGBTQ – sexual orientation or gender identity – in their list of protected classes for state hate crime laws, and federal hate crime laws covering sexual minorities require complicated legal maneuvering which have left some victims in limbo.
Police departments are also not required to report hate crime statistics so the number sent to the FBI, which then tabulates and releases them every year (toward the end of the next year), are often considered under reported.
In 2014, 50 VA PD’s reported hate crimes, in 2015, 58 reported them. Virginia has a total of 340 police agencies meaning less than 20% of state agencies report hate crime numbers. But even with flawed reporting methods, hate crime against LGBTQs were on the rise in 2015.
According to the FBI, there were 24 crimes committed agianst someone because of their sexual orientation in the Commonwealth in 2015. In 2014, that number was 22. Though a slight increase, the non-reporting from 80% of police agencies can cast doubt on what’s presented.
Nationally, about 5,800 “single-bias” incidents involved more than 7,100 victims. Race continues to be the number one reported reason for hate crime violations, at just under 60%. 19.7% of hate crimes were committed against someone because of their religious while 17.7% were committed because of their sexual orientation. 1.7% of hate crimes were committed against someone because of their perceived gender identity.
in 2014, 18.6% of hate crimes were committed against someone because of their sexual orientation while 1.8% were against someone for their perceived gender identity.