U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Sexual Orientation Bias Crimes: Examination of Reporting, Perception of Police Bias, and Differential Police Response

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2016
22 pages
This study examined victim–police interactions in LGBT hate-crime cases, with a focus on reporting of such crimes by victims, perceived police bias among victims who did not report their victimization, and differential police behavior with victims who reported their victimization.
LGBT hate crimes are typically more violent and involve greater victim injury compared to other victimizations, but they are substantially underreported. Victim reluctance to contact law enforcement may arise from perceptions of police bias. The current study used multiple years of National Crime Victimization Survey data to compare sexual-orientation bias with other forms of victimization. Logit regression models were examined both before and after the Matthew Shepard Act. Results indicate that in the years following progressive policy reforms, LGBT bias victims continued to perceive the police as biased; however, results do not significantly differ between sexual orientation bias victims and victims of other types of crime regarding police reporting and differential police response. Implications for policing efforts with the LGBT community are discussed. (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 2016