The Virginia Anti-Violence Project (VAVP) has learned that 29-year-old Newport News, VA, resident India Monroe was killed in a private residence in Newport News on Wednesday, December 21st. India identified as a black transgender woman, but was misgendered in initial local media coverage of the homicide. At this point, India’s murder is being investigated as a ‘domestic incident’, not as a hate crime. The Virginia Anti-Violence Project would like to express its sincere condolences to India’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.
“VAVP has responded to three reports of homicides in Virginia in the past two months; two of the individuals killed have been trans women of color and all three have been women of color. VAVP is working hard in community to support folks that are impacted by violence, while also continuing to work to prevent this type of violence from happening in the first place.” Said Stacie Vecchietti, Director at Virginia Anti Violence Project, “Part of that work, in a larger context, is actively working against anti-trans legislation, such as the ‘Physical Privacy Act’ that was introduced by Delegate Bob Marshall on January 3rd in the Virginia General Assembly. Legislation like HB1612 reinforces the hate and fear that breeds violence against queer and transgender people in Virginia.”
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) 2015 Report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) was released in October of 2016 and documented 1,976 survivors of intimate partner violence from 17 local NCAVP member organizations in 14 states. In 2015, people of color made up 10 (77%) of the 13 reports of LGBTQ and HIV-affected IPV homicides. Of the 13 homicides, six victims were transgender women, four were cisgender men, and three were cisgender women. All six of the transgender women homicide victims were transgender women of color, including four who were black and two who were Latinx. The homicide of India Monroe was the 24th reported killing of a transgender/gender non-conforming person NCAVP responded to in 2016
While there is still an active investigation happening into the shooting of India Monroe, we absolutely do know that perceived and actual gender identity and race often play a role in escalating violence against LGBTQ+-identified individuals. VAVP hopes that as the investigative process unfolds, the media, police, and the public at-large, will respect India’s identity and maintain a level of decorum and understanding when interacting with her family and other individuals who identify within transgender and non-conforming communities. VAVP will continue to stand in solidarity with the family and community of India and other LGBTQ+ individuals that have been impacted by violence.
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.