The Virginia Anti-Violence Project has been made aware of a reported anti-LGBTQ+ vandalism incident that occurred in Richmond, Virginia on October 31st, 2017. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, someone with white spray paint tagged the side of a vehicle with an anti-gay message between 9:30 and 10 p.m. in the city’s North Highland Park neighborhood. VAVP is deeply saddened to hear of this incident of hate/bias-motivated violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities.
While there is still an active investigation happening into this case as an incident of hate/bias-motivated violence, VAVP knows that perceived and actual gender identity and sexual orientation often play a role in escalating harassment and violence against LGBTQ+-identified individuals. The Virginia Anti-Violence Project stands in solidarity with the victim and diverse members of LGBTQ+ communities that have been impacted by this incident and other acts of hate/bias motivated violence and harassment.
As was noted in the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Project’s (NCAVP) most recent hate violence report released in June of 2017, ‘Hate violence is not only physical, nor does it only exist within the moment of an act of violence. Housing discrimination, lack of economic opportunity, and bias and discrimination in LGBTQ people’s everyday lives are all forms of hate violence. This systemic violence adds up, contributing to a cycle of disempowerment that makes LGBTQ people more vulnerable to all forms of violence.’
VAVP will be holding space in community throughout November in various places. We are inviting LGBTQ+ identified folks to join us in community. These spaces are specifically staffed by LGBTQ+ identified individuals, and we will be intentionally focused on providing support related to being impacted by hate/bias-motivated harassment or violence. The upcoming November dates/spaces include:
Wednesday, November 1st, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., VAVP Pop-Up Advocacy Hours @ Health Brigade
Wednesday, November 8th, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., VAVP Pop-Up Advocacy Hours @ Minority Health Consortium
Thursday, November 16th, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., VAVP Pop-Up Advocacy Hours @ Diversity Richmond
Monday, November 20th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., VAVP Pop-Up Advocacy Hours, Nationz Foundation
The Virginia Anti-Violence Project works to address and prevent violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities across Virginia. VAVP offers support services for survivors of hate/bias motivated harassment and violence, as well as intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking. VAVP also has resources to support training and consultation with agencies, community groups, congregations, and other interested organizations to increase overall community capacity to support LGBTQ+ identified individuals that have been impacted by violence. For more information on the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, visit www.virginiaavp.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (804) 925-9242.
If you are LGBTQ+-identified and you have been impacted by violence, you can contact the 24/7 Virginia LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline via text at (804) 793-9999 or by phone at 1-866-356-6998.