LGBTQ+ survivors of violence, including safety planning, emotional support, groups sessions and licensed therapy, accompaniment, resource referrals, and emergency housing.
VAVP and the Action Alliance also collaborate on a LGBTQ+ specific Helpline, which you can call at 866-356-6998, text at 804-793-9999, or chat online here. The LGBTQ+ Helpline focuses on anti-violence in the LGBTQ+ community. This is a space for survivors and people impacted by violence, like friends, family, professionals, and the general public, to connect about LGBTQ+ centered resources.
How do I report a hate crime?
Disclaimer: We know that many communities, especially Black, Brown, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities, do not always feel safe calling law enforcement for assistance or using the legal system to seek justice. Police presence can sometimes escalate a situation and either the survivor or the perpetrator of violence could be harmed as a result. Whether or not you contact law enforcement, we encourage you to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, neighbor, or community service like VAVP or the Action Alliance for support.
If you are in immediate danger, and are able to safely do so, call 911 or call a trusted person or community service to help you. If you feel threatened, intimidated, or fear for your safety, VAVP and the Action Alliance can help you to create a safety plan, get you connected to community resources, and make sure that you are supported by a trained and trauma-informed advocate 24/7, 365 days a year.
The Attorney General’s office lists multiple resources for hate crimes survivors, and can also help you report a hate crime or connect you with survivor resources that can support you following a crime. You can contact them at [email protected] or 1-855-NOH8VA1 (1-855-664-8821).
If you believe that you or someone you know has been the survivor of a hate crime, and you wish to report the crime to law enforcement, an advocate at VAVP or the Action Alliance can help you. You can also contact your local law enforcement agency or local Commonwealth’s Attorney to report a crime without an advocate. Additionally, you can report these crimes to your local FBI office. Click here to find your local office or complete the online form found here. Information on filing with other federal agencies that may be appropriate can be found here.
You should also, as much as possible, preserve any evidence you have of the incident by taking pictures of vandalism, damage, or the physical evidence of any persons (with their consent); keeping copies of any videos taken; and noting witnesses, descriptions of the offenders, their vehicles, etc. This information and evidence can be shared with the law enforcement officials investigating the crime you have reported and can help to ensure effective law enforcement and prosecution responses occur.
What legal protections do I have as a survivor of a hate crime?
Survivors of hate crimes have several resources and courses of action available through the legal system: