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LGBT People Are Significantly More Likely than Non-LGBT People to be Victims of Violent Hate Crimes

Author: The Williams Institute
Author Contact: Rachel Dowd,
Published: 22nd Dec 2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: LGBTQ+ News Publications

Summary: About 1 out of 10 violent victimizations against LGBT people are hate crimes.


Hate Crime

A crime, especially of a violent nature, that is motivated out of prejudice towards disability, religion, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, or similar grounds, is a hate crime. Hence, it is not the type of crime itself, nor the type of victim, but the motivation behind it that matters in determining whether or not it is a hate crime.

Main Document

LGBT people are nine times more likely than non-LGBT people to be victims of violent hate crimes. In addition, LGBT violent hate crime victims are more likely to be younger, have a relationship with their assailant, and have an assailant who is white.

Researchers analyzed hate crime data from the 2017-2019 National Crime Victimization Survey, the first nationally representative and comprehensive criminal victimization data to include information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of respondents. They defined violent hate crimes as victimizations on people's bodies (such as assaults) that were motivated by bias and involved hate language, hate symbols, or some confirmation by police as evidence that the incident was a hate crime.

Results showed that, between 2017 and 2019, LGBT people experienced 6.6 violent hate crime victimizations per 1,000 people, compared to 0.8 victimizations per 1,000 people for non-LGBT people. LGBT victims of violent hate crimes were more likely than LGBT non-hate crime victims to report problems in their social lives, negative emotional responses, and physical symptoms of distress.

"The rise of extreme anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and behaviors may embolden individuals to carry out hate crimes against LGBT people, so it will be important to track how our findings may change after 2019," said lead author Andrew R. Flores, Affiliated Scholar at the Williams Institute. "It is vital that law enforcement and anti-violence programs are trained and prepared to effectively serve the unique needs of LGBT victims."


"Hate crimes have adverse physical and psychological effects on LGBT victims that are greater than the effect of similar crimes not motivated by hate," said study author Ilan H. Meyer, Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. "These findings highlight the importance of developing and strengthening federal, state, and local interventions to protect LGBT people from victimization and providing support and services to mitigate the ill effects of hate crime victimization."

The report, "Hate crimes against LGBT people: National Crime Victimization Survey, 2017-2019" appears in PLOS ONE and is co-authored by Andrew R. Flores, Ph.D., Rebecca L. Stotzer, Ph.D., Ilan Meyer, Ph.D., and Lynn L. Langton, Ph.D.


The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.


References and Source(s):

LGBT People Are Significantly More Likely than Non-LGBT People to be Victims of Violent Hate Crimes | The Williams Institute (Rachel Dowd, makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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• (APA): The Williams Institute. (2022, December 22). LGBT People Are Significantly More Likely than Non-LGBT People to be Victims of Violent Hate Crimes. Retrieved April 13, 2024 from

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