A new publication from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Violent Victimization by Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 2017-2020, supports the vast evidence we already have that LGBT people — and particularly young adults, people of color, women, and bisexual people — are at heightened risk of violent victimization compared to their straight and cisgender counterparts.

We already know that LGBTQ+ people are overrepresented at every stage of the criminal legal system. And the line between victim and perpetrator is often blurry; many people who commit violent crimes have also been victims of violence and trauma throughout their lives. This new data reinforces that the way to break this cycle is not through punishment and incarceration, but rather support for programs that prevent violent victimization in the first place.

We already know that transgender people face a significant amount of discrimination and violence: according to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, nearly one in ten respondents were phsyically attacked because of their gender identity, and more than 54% experienced some form of intimate partner violence. This newest report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics supports what we already know about high rates of violence against trans people: the rate of violent victimization of transgender people is 2.5 times higher than the rate among cisgender people. It’s clear that trans people are disproportionately violently victimized: transgender people account for 0.11% of the population 16 and older, but are the victims of 0.27% of all violent victimizations reported from 2017 to 2020 in the NCVS.

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals experience violent victimization at rates far higher than their straight counterparts. Lesbian and gay people experienced 44 victimizations per 1,000 people, which was more than twice the victimization rate of straight people (19 per 1,000 people). Bisexual people experienced victimization at almost seven times the rate of straight people and almost three times the rate of lesbian and gay people.

Read the full article about LGBTQ individuals and violence by Emily Widra at Prison Policy Initiative.