On Sunday morning, August 19th, at approximately 2 am, a transgender woman, her sister and friend were violently assaulted in downtown Charleston. The transgender woman was brought to the hospital after being knocked unconscious. The Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) has been working closely with the Charleston Police Department (CPD) to advocate on behalf of the transgender community following this attack.
“AFFA has been in communication with the CPD and understands that the investigation will be intensified to identify and charge the assailant. Our top two concerns are for the survivor of this attack and advocating for her, and advocating for the transgender community as a whole. We know that when a trans person is attacked, it can instill a climate of fear in the entire community. We are focused on identifying ways that we can partner with the police department and the transgender community in the coming days to help build trust and increase dialogue and understanding,” said AFFA Executive Director Chase Glenn.
- Only 16 states plus the District of Columbia currently have laws that address hate or bias crimes based on gender identity
- There were 28 transgender individuals murdered in the U.S. in 2017, the highest number ever recorded.
- Hate crimes against all groups is at an all-time high
Glenn and AFFA President Colleen Condon met with leadership of the CPD Tuesday to share a number of community concerns.
"The misstatement denying this was a hate crime was an unfortunate error made very early in the investigation last week, but we are pleased that Chief Reynolds and the CPD were responsive to our concerns," Condon said. "Security video has now been obtained by CPD that shows the vicious attack and the assailant. Nationwide, violence against the transgender community is on the rise, yet it is often underreported. Many in the community live in fear of violence, but are also scared of law enforcement and to report violence. This is compounded when initial reports of violence erase details of one’s gender identity or orientation. We are pleased that CPD is determined to improve their service to our community.”
AFFA is currently working with the Charleston Police Department to organize a town hall to listen to the concerns of the transgender community. The tentative date for the town hall is Tuesday, September 4th. Details are forthcoming.
In addition, AFFA has discussed opportunities for leading training with the department related to LGBTQ competency.
Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) is a social justice organization that strives to achieve equality and acceptance for the Lowcountry area LGBTQ community, through support, advocacy and education in schools, businesses and government organizations. Established in 1998, AFFA has over 1600 donor/members and is headquartered in Charleston, SC. For more information visit: affa-sc.org.