The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) mourns the death of Tiff Edwards who was found shot to death in Walnut Hills, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, on Thursday, June 26th. According to local media reports she was discovered by a sanitation worker and her body was lying in the middle of the road.
NCAVP has responded to the deaths of three other transgender women of color this June alone. Zoraida Reyes's body was discovered on Thursday June 12th behind a Dairy Queen, her death has been ruled suspicious by investigators because it is believed her body was moved to that location, but has not yet been ruled a homicide. On June 3rd, the body of Kandy Hall was discovered in a field in Northeast Baltimore in what local police believe to be a homicide. And on June 19th, the body of Yaz'min Shancez was found behind a Budget Truck Rental on Powell Street in Fort Myers, Florida. According to local media reports, local police believe her death to be a homicide, and her body had been burned.
"We are alarmed by this crisis of violence. This is the fourth suspicious death or homicide of a transgender woman of color in the United States this month alone," said Osman Ahmed, NCAVP's Research and Education Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. "For many transgender women of color, who are disproportionally affected by violence, the motive for homicides is never determined and the investigations are rarely completed. This pride season we demand that this crisis be addressed."
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ) most recent report just released on May 29th, 2014, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2013, documented 18 anti-LGBTQ homicides last year. Of those homicide victims, almost 90% were people of color, yet LGBTQ and HIV-affected people of color only represented 55% of total survivors and victims. Almost three-quarters ( 72% ) of homicide victims were transgender women, and more than two-thirds ( 67% ) of homicide victims were transgender women of color.
NCAVP is working with local NCAVP member organization Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization ( BRAVO ) in Columbus, Ohio as well as TransOhio to raise awareness of this homicide and to support the local communities affected by this violence.
"BRAVO is saddened and outraged as our communities continue to be targeted. BRAVO remains steadfast in providing services to the LGBTQ communities of Ohio, our thoughts are with Tiff's family and friends in the time of tragedy," says Gloria McCauley, BRAVO Executive Director.
According to Aaron Eckhardt, BRAVO Training and Technical Assistance Director, "we continue to be concerned that these homicides are often not investigated or reported on accurately, despite an alarming level of violence against transgender women of color. Nationally this marks the fourth homicide of transgender women of color in the month of June alone."
"It's devastating that we've lost another community member to violence. Tiff, as her friends knew her, lost her life this morning. The brutality and violence we see being committed against trans communities of color is real. It's happening in our own cities, in our own state. This violence needs to end. Trans lives matter," said Shane Morgan, founder and chair of TransOhio. "CeCe Dove, Brittany Stergis, Betty Skinner and Tiff. Their lives matter. If there are people who have information on this crime, please contact the Cincinnati Police Department, or if you're uncomfortable about contacting the police, please connect with TransOhio or BRAVO."
NCAVP is a resource for anyone who experiences violence. For more information, or to locate an anti-violence program in your area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online. Join NCAVP in our efforts to prevent and respond to LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. To learn more about our national advocacy and receive technical assistance or support, contact us at email@example.com .