Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PFLAG National Responds to the Rise in Hate Crimes

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently released a report on hate crimes against immigrants and Latinos in the United States. The research conducted by the NIJ focused on hate crimes in California, New Jersey, Texas, and Michigan. Researchers discovered there was a slight increase in hate crimes against immigrants and Hispanic-Americans between 2004 and 2008, although California and Texas had more significant increases in the numbers of these crimes.

It is important to recognize the intersection of identity and how this relates to our families. In particular, many Latino and/or immigrant LGBT people face a unique situation; they are living with the reality of being targets of hate crimes simply because of specific aspects of who they are; i.e. their national origin, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Fortunately, the community education many of our chapters provide to local law enforcement officials helps effectively prevent and respond to hate crimes in communities all across the country. Our chapters work with law enforcement officials by educating them about the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Junior Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and how this new law can help provide resources and support to more effectively respond to hate crimes targeting vulnerable populations like Latinos, immigrants and/or LGBT individuals. Through our education efforts, our members share the strategies and interventions available to prevent hate violence, which enables our communities to reduce and more effectively respond to all types of hate crimes.

If you are interested in learning more about our community education efforts, please contact our Field and Policy Department today!

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