HRC Blog

New Federal Government Report on Hate Crimes

Submitted by Andrea Anastasi, HRC Law Fellow

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released a special report, Hate Crime Victimization, 2003-2013.  According to the report, approximately 234,979 hate crimes based on sexual orientation occurred from 2007 – 2011. The report also revealed that hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation increased from 2007-11, compared to 2003-06, from 16 to 18 percent.

Unfortunately, the report aggregates date on hate crimes based on gender identity with hate crimes based on gender – and only began including the gender identity statistics in 2010, following the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act.  As such, it is difficult to get a clear picture of the victimization of transgender Americans.

There was no change in the annual average number of total violent and property hate crime victimizations. However, violent hate crime accounted for a higher percentage of all nonfatal violent crime in 2007-11, compared to 2003-06. Notably, the report also finds that the percentage of hate crimes reported to police have declined over time.

The report is based on a crime victimization survey of individuals in U.S. households over the age of 12; it is not based on police reports.  The report, related documents and additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.

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