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Houston Woman First in 2013 Domestic Violence Report

Highest Domestic Violence Homicide Rate on Record for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has released its 2013 Report on Intimate Partner Violence, and the numbers are up almost across the board. The data was collected from 18 agencies across the country, including the Montrose Center.

Some of the findings include:

  • Reports of LGBTQ and HIV-affected intimate partner violence increased slightly in 2013
  • There were 21 homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people documented; the highest total recorded and matching 2012 figures
  • For the third year in a row, LGBTQ and HIV-affected people of color made up the majority of intimate partner violence survivors
  • In 2013, 76% of homicide victims were gay men
  • LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of violence rarely go to the police, the courts or domestic violence shelters for support

New Year’s Day saw the first LGBTQ homicide attributed to intimate partner violence, and it was right here in Houston. Ana “Nelly” Flores was shot and killed by her fiancée, Belinda Espinoza, who then turned the gun on herself. Nelly had called police to report the escalating violence that day, but by the time police arrived, both women were dead.

“A majority of victims living in violent relationships don’t seek help, and the LGBTQ community is even more reluctant to reach out,” says Ann J. Robison, PhD, Executive Director of the Montrose Center. “Many are alienated from their friends and family, not just because that’s one of the ways the abuser gains control over the victim, but also because many LGBTQ victims are not out of the closet. In addition, many don’t know that a program like ours exists,” says Dr. Robison.

During business hours, we can help with safety planning ahead of time. We also offer individual and group counseling or case management. Through the LGBT Switchboard at 713.529.3211, the Montrose Center offers 24-hour emergency help for those needing to flee an abusive same-sex relationship as well as transgender victims of intimate partner violence. If you need an advocate, we can accompany you to the hospital if you need medical care or want someone to be with you when you file a police report.

Click here to read the full 2013 NCAVP Intimate Partner Violence Report.

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