US Hits Disturbing Milestone With Record High Number of Transgender Murders

It’s been described as a national crisis—yet it’s an issue that’s rarely the focus of national media attention.

That issue is anti-transgender violence, and a new report out from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) notes a disturbing record—in 2015, the number of victims of transgender fatal violence in the U.S. hit a record high—21.

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There were 13 such murders in 2014, and 19 in 2013. 87 percent of those victims were people of color. The victims, who are disproportionately trans women of color, “are more than alarming statistics. They were human beings with friends and loved ones,” the report stresses.

The total toll may even be higher, as the “lack of accurate and reliable data collection makes it impossible for advocates to know how widespread this violence really is.”

The report also documents the litany of struggles, abuses, and marginalization transgender people often face, including widespread harassment, sexual assault, partner violence, problems accessing proper healthcare, and denial of safety nets.

“There are now more transgender homicide victims in 2015 than in any other year that advocates have recorded. At least 21 people—nearly all of them transgender women of color—have lost their lives to violence,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a media statement.