The Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP) has learned that 67-year-old Chesterfield, VA resident, Bruce Garnett, was found stabbed to death in his home on April 21st, 2017. Bruce, a gay man and early advocate in Virginia for gay rights, had been dead for several weeks when he was found by the Chesterfield Police. The Virginia Anti-Violence Project would like to express its sincere condolences to Bruce’s family, friends, and community. VAVP is deeply saddened to hear of another homicide of someone who identifies within a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in Virginia.
‘Older adults, specifically LGBTQ+ older adults, are particularly vulnerable to both isolation and abuse/violence. All of VAVP’s services are welcoming and accessible to LGBTQ+ adults over 50. This includes our individual/group support and advocacy services, relationship skills classes, wellness events, and survivor retreats. VAVP is also available to provide training to providers of aging services to deepen their organizational capacity to provide affirming and welcoming services to LGBTQ+ older adults’, says Stacie Vecchietti, Virginia Anti-Violence Project Director.
VAVP’s national colleagues at SAGE (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Elders) say, ‘The primary risk factors for social isolation affect LGBT older adults in unique and disproportionate ways. For example, one primary risk factor is living alone. LGBT older people are twice as likely to live alone, twice as likely to be single, and 3 to 4 times less likely to have children—and many are estranged from their biological families.’
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 services for survivors of intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking, as well as hate/bias motivated harassment and violence. VAVP also has resources to support training and consultation with agencies, community groups, congregations, and other interested organizations. For more information on the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, visit 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 Virginia LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline via text at (804) 793-9999 or by phone at 1-866-356-6998.