The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released their annual hate crime statistics for 2022. The report sheds light on the prevalence of hate crimes in the United States, and the severity of the impact it has on marginalized communities.
One of the most alarming statistics in the report is the steady increase in hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community over the past few years. According to the FBI, there were 622 reported incidents of single-bias hate crimes against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in 2022, an increase of more than 19% from the previous year. The increase was even more stark looking specifically at the transgender numbers, where there was an increase of more than 35%.
The report also highlights the disproportionate impact of hate crimes on LGBTQ+ people of color. The FBI found that more than half of hate crimes committed against LGBTQ+ individuals were targeted at LGBTQ+ people of color.
Many factors contribute to the prevalence of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. Anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and policies from leaders at the national level have contributed to a culture of intolerance and bigotry. Additionally, many individuals who hold anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs feel empowered to act on them after being emboldened by mainstream public discourse or social media.
It is crucial that policy-makers, community leaders, and individuals alike take steps to combat the ongoing problem of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community. This can include providing support and resources for LGBTQ+ individuals affected by hate crimes, such as counseling or legal support. It can also involve working to change public discourse around LGBTQ+ individuals and increasing representation of LGBTQ+ people in public life.
Our Work in Delaware
Here in Delaware there are two areas of focus for Sussex Pride at the moment.
1. We must make sure LGBTQ+ survivors of hate crimes receive adequate support and are not further traumatized by service providers who are unprepared to serve LGBTQ+ clients. A recent survey of victim service providers revealed that more work needs to be done. When asked if they were comfortable talking about sexual orientation or gender identity with clients, more than one third of all providers said they were either disagreed with this statement or were unsure. Sussex Pride is currently partnering with the LGBTQ+ Subcommittee of the Delaware Victim Rights Task Force to create a training for these service providers.
2. We must expand the number of agencies in Delaware that report this data to the FBI. Nationally, 14,631 law enforcement agencies, with cover approximately 91.7% of the United States population, submitted data for the report. There are still law enforcement agencies here in Delaware and around the country however, that do not submit data. Middletown, Delaware, is one example of a city that did not submit data according to the HRC Municipal Equality Index.
3. We must speak out against hate crimes in Delaware. Speak Out Against Hate is a new organization working to do exactly that.
Ultimately, the FBI’s hate crime statistics for 2022 serve as a stark reminder of the work that still needs to be done to ensure the safety and equality of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. We must all work together to create a more inclusive and accepting society, where everyone can live their lives free from violence and harassment.
Next Steps. What can you do?
Explore the 2022 FBI Report at: https://cde.ucr.cjis.gov/