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GLBT hate crime hotline available toll-free nationwide

A bilingual, non-profit, toll-free hotline is available to assist all victims of anti-gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/HIV-positive incidents and provide them with a centralized source of information and documentation.

The Gay & Lesbian National Victims' Assistance Hotline (GLNVAH: 800-259-1536) is a 24-hour project of LAMBDA GLBT Community Services Anti-Violence Project (AVP), located in El Paso, TX.

Since 1991, LAMBDA has provided education, information and assistance to men and women who have experienced anti-gay and anti-lesbian violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, HIV-related violence and other forms of criminal victimization.

GLNVAH is staffed by trained, carefully supervised, volunteers who provide crisis intervention, information and referrals to persons who have experienced terrifying violence or more common anti-gay incidents, such as discrimination, harassment, or vandalism. Callers may remain anonymous and all information is kept strictly confidential.

The hotline accepts calls 24-hours per day.

The Gay & Lesbian National Victims Assistance Hotline is committed to supporting local switchboards, anti-violence projects, and hotlines across the country. Callers to the GLNVAH referred to the AVP, victim advocacy program, or queer switchboard that is closest to them.

"We hope that anyone with information to report will call us or their local AVP," said Rob Knight, president of LAMBDA. "Anti-gay brutality and discrimination has long been invisible, mainly because it is among the least reported of crimes," said Knight.

People targeted with expressions of intolerance and hate often fear reporting incidents to police due to fear. Some may not recognize subtle expressions of hate as reportable incidents.

"Ask a gay person if they have been called a 'faggot', been involved in same-gender domestic violence, or felt scared because they might be attacked while in public, and you will be surprised at how often the answer is 'yes.' Anti-gay rhetoric is so common that it is largely ignored.

"People are taught to fear queer people and those who are HIV-positive -- and that fear, unchallenged, often leads to violence," said Knight. "The first step in countering the hate is to report it. If we don't know about it, we can't help."

For information or assistance, call the 24-hour Gay & Lesbian Victims' Assistance Hotline at 800-259-1536 or write to LAMBDA GLBT Community Services AVP, attn: GLNVAH, PO Box 31321, El Paso, TX 79931-0321 USA


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