Hate Crimes against the Homeless: The Brutality of Violence Unveiled

In the past thirteen years (1999-2011), the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) has documented one thousand, two hundred and eighty-nine acts of violence against homeless individuals by housed perpetrators. These crimes are believed to be motivated by the perpetrators’ bias against homeless individuals or their ability to target homeless people with relative ease. The documented violence includes everything from murder to beatings, rapes, and setting people on fire. Hate Crimes against the Homeless: The Brutality Unveiled is the thirteenth annual report documenting violence against homeless persons. The violence continues, and with thirty-two known deaths, 2011 ranks in the top-five deadliest years for attacks on homeless people over the past thirteen years, and with one hundred and five attacks, ranks as the sixth most violent year since NCH began tracking the violence in 1999. NCH has found startling data in the number and severity of attacks. However, the reports also acknowledge that since the homeless community is treated so poorly in our society, many more attacks go unreported. Hate crimes against the homeless community is a growing wave in need of public attention. • 1,289 reported acts of bias motivated violence have been committed against homeless individuals between 1999-2011. • 339 homeless individuals lost their lives as a result of the attacks • Reported violence has occurred in 47 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC Our data also suggests that the perpetrators of these attacks tend to be young men and teenage boys. In the thirteen year history of our hate crime reports, the vast majority of the attacks against homeless people have been committed by youth and young adults. In 2011: • 72% percent of the attacks were committed by people under thirty years of age • 97% percent of perpetrators were men • 30% of the attacks ended in death Hate Crimes against the Homeless: The Brutality Unveiled documents the known cases of violence against homeless individuals by housed individuals in 2011. The report includes descriptions of the cases, current and pending legislation that would help protect homeless people, and recommendations for advocates to help prevent violence against homeless individuals.

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