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Study to investigate gay community’s interaction with Kansas City area police

Doug Riley with the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project talked about his organization's effort to stem domestic violence in the gay and lesbian community. The organization with the Law Enforcement and LGBTQ Advocacy Coalition is doing a study on LGBTQ persons’ interactions with law enforcement.
Doug Riley with the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project talked about his organization's effort to stem domestic violence in the gay and lesbian community. The organization with the Law Enforcement and LGBTQ Advocacy Coalition is doing a study on LGBTQ persons’ interactions with law enforcement. The Kansas City Star

A study has begun, examining how law enforcement in the Kansas City area can better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or hate crimes.

“The relationship between law enforcement and members of the LGBTQ community has often been a turbulent one, and this historical context makes it difficult for LGBTQ victims of crime to seek justice or protection from violence,” the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project said in a prepared news release. “The research acquired from this study will inform our work advocating on behalf of LGBTQ survivors of violence as well as our efforts to help heal the relationship between our community and law enforcement.”

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project and the Law Enforcement and LGBTQ Advocacy Coalition on Monday announced that they are studying the interaction of LGBTQ persons with law enforcement. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs notes that only 45 percent of LGBTQ survivors of violence reported such incidents to police. Of those reporting, 32 percent said they faced hostile attitudes from the police, and transgender survivors of violence were 3.7 times more likely to experience police violence.

LGBTQ victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are “reluctant to contact mainstream service providers or report incidents to law enforcement for fear of a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic response,” the release notes. “The LGBTQ community faces many obstacles when attempting to seek help from organizations and institutions with the authority and resources to provide assistance.”

The City Union Mission is a case study, telling The Kansas City Star that same sex couples will not be allowed to stay as couples at City Union Mission’s family shelter. Other shelters in the Kansas City area don’t discriminate.

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