What We do
If you are in crisis and experiencing domestic or sexual abuse, the free and confidential LGBTQ Helpline is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-356-6998 or by chat online.
Federal and State law
At the federal level, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act covers crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
Virginia’s hate crime laws address violence based on race, religion, and ethnic origin, but not sexual orientation or gender identity. Equality Virginia is dedicated to protecting the welfare of our LGBTQ youth and all Virginians. We believe that it is necessary to address the violence faced by members of the LGBT community and provide resources and tools for victims of hate crimes and other types of discrimination.
In 2005, EV helped established the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, which works to end hate crimes and other forms of violence against Virginians. They recently published a report which states that approximately half of LGBT Virginians have faced violence or harassment based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
While a program of EV, VAVP produced a report consisting of three major components from it’s findings during 2007-2008:
- State of Violence in LGBTQ Communities of Virginia Report
- LGBTQ Community Resource and Referral Guide
- Executive Summary of State of Violence Report
As its own independent organization since 2009, the Virginia Anti-Violence Project continues to seek to increase the communities’ capacity to respond to violence through education and awareness campaigns across the Commonwealth. VAVP continues to work with local LGBT organizations and community leaders to increase the effectiveness of community response to hate violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, bullying and harassment.
- If you have been the victim or witness of bullying, harassment, discrimination or violence, if you have been the victim or witness of discrimination
- Meet with your state delegate and senator to educate them about the importance of declaring violence against the LGBT Virginians a hate crime. Click here to find your Virginia General Assembly representatives.