An Illinois agency is conducting a survey to gauge violent crime against LGBTQ individuals.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority points out research has shown a higher incidence of violence against those who identify as LGBTQ. That’s according to the agency’s Jaclyn Houston Kolnik. Twenty percent of hate crimes reported in 2015 were related to sexual orientation or gender-identity bias.
“LGBTQ individuals talk a lot about how — when they do seek help — they have very negative responses that they've received, as well as supportive responses," she said. "So that's our hope is to kind of continue to expand this and better understand the needs of LGBTQ victims of crime.’’
Aisha Davis is with Howard Brown Health, which serves an LGBTQ clientele. She says the survey will lead to a better understanding of the community.
“Just the gathering of information about violent crime against LGBTQ people or the community at large helps support our understanding of the different hardships that LBGTQ people face regularly. And it also gives us a tool or resource to help educate more people about what the community faces,’’ she said.
Davis says she is glad the survey request is throughout Illinois because it should return information outside the Chicago area. That’s where most supports are located.