Anti-Gay Attacks Decline in Number, Increase in Severity

A research report issued by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that the number of anti-gay attacks is decreasing, but also found that the attacks that did occur were more violent than in the past.

The number of anti-gay attacks was 2,552 in 1998, 113 less than the 2,665 reported in 1997. However the number of attack victims who required hospitalization for their injuries doubled from 53 in 1997 to 100 in 1998. The number of assaults and attempted assaults with guns rose 71%, and assaults in which bats, clubs, or similar objects were used as weapons increased by 47 percent.

Anti-Violence Project Executive Director Richard Haymes commented, “What this may be indicating is that perpetrators are getting bolder, and their actions are becoming more premeditated, since… you have to make a decision to leave your house with a baseball bat.”

The report urged further research on hate-motivated violence and recommended that police units around the country hire gay officers and establish anti-bias units.


AP - April 7, 1999

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