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Audacia Ray, New York City Anti-Violence Project
Beverly Tillery, New York City Anti-Violence Project
Somjen Frazer, PhD, Strength in Numbers Consulting Group Stephanie Hasford, Strength in Numbers Consulting Group Orie Givens IV
, New York City Anti-Violence Project

Preferred citation

Ray, A., Tillery, B., Frazer, S., Hasford, S. and Givens, O. Under Attack: 2022 LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces National Needs Assessment. The New York City Anti-Violence Project. New York, NY. June 2023.

Key Findings

LGBTQ+ safe spaces experienced multiple incidents and types of violence

The survey results point to a reality for LGBTQ+ safe spaces in which targeted hate violence has become common and relentless. More than three-fifths (62.1%) of organizations surveyed experienced some
type of harassment or violence.

LGBTQ+ community centers were heavily targeted in-person and online

Nearly nine in ten (86.8%) community centers experienced at least one phone or in-person incident. They were also more likely to be targets of online attacks compared to other organizations who were not community centers (78.3% vs 42.3%).

Youth-serving organizations faced higher rates of violence

Groups and organizations surveyed that offered programing to young LGBTQ+ people experienced higher rates of incidents. While 58.6% of groups and organizations that did not have a specific focus on youth
experienced some kind of phone or in-person harassment, 77.8% of those that serve youth had this experience.

Respondents report white nationalist involvement

The presence of white supremacist groups in instigating and carrying out protests against LGBTQ+ safe spaces is evident in survey responses. Nearly half (47.5%) of groups that experienced protests reported that they believed white nationalist groups led these incidents.

Inconsistent reporting, response and resolution

The Needs Assessment data paints a complex picture of whether and how LGBTQ+ groups interact with local law enforcement agencies. Just over half (52.0%) of organizations that experienced at least one phone or in-person incident reported an incident to the police.

Organizations  need more resources and training

Nearly nine in ten (89.6%) organizations and businesses want at least one security
measure that they do not have. Planning, implementing and updating security measures takes financial and human resources, both of which are probably in short supply for many organizations serving as LGBTQ+ safe spaces.


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