BRAVO mourns the loss of JoJo Striker in Toledo, Ohio16-Feb-2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2017
Aaron Eckhardt, Associate Director
(614) 294-7867 | firstname.lastname@example.org
BRAVO mourns the loss of JoJo Striker in Toledo, Ohio
BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization) responds to the homicide of JoJo Striker, a 23-year-old transgender woman of color killed in Toledo, Ohio on February 8, 2017.
Reports indicate that JoJo was found dead in north Toledo. BRAVO is working with Toledo area organizations and individuals throughout Ohio to offer our assistance in supporting JoJo’s family, friends, and community during this difficult time.
According to media sources, Toledo Police have not released information about the motivation or identified a suspect at this time. At BRAVO we know then even when no motive is yet known, given the ongoing prevalence of violence faced by transgender/gender non-conforming people here in Ohio and nationwide, the possibility of hate motivation regarding her gender identity must always be considered.
The death of JoJo Striker marks the first homicide a of transgender woman in Ohio in 2017, and the 14th murder of transgender/gender non-conforming people in just over four years. Nationally this is the 3rd murder of a transgender/gender non-conforming person in 2017. “This is a critical time. We all have to acknowledge and continue to take action to combat the epidemic of hate and bias violence here in Ohio. We call on all systems of government and community to commit more resources to combat this violence in Ohio and throughout the nation,” says Aaron Eckhardt, Associate Director of BRAVO. “Our hearts, minds and condolences are with JoJo’s family, friends, and community in this time of tragedy. We are still mourning the deaths of Skye Mockabee, Rae’Lynn Thomas, and Brandi Bledsoe just this past October. We at BRAVO are saddened and outraged that our communities continue to be targeted, and we remain steadfast in providing critical support services to the LGBTQI communities of Ohio. We must continue to come together as a broad community of support until hate has no home in Ohio, until hate has no home anywhere,” Eckhardt added.
BRAVO is a member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). In the most recent report,Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected Communities in the United States in 2015, BRAVO documented 71 incidents of anti-LGBTQI hate violence in Ohio representing a 10% increase from 2014. Nationally, NCAVP received reports on 24 hate violence related homicides of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people in 2015, which was a 20% increase in the number of reports compared to 2014. Continuing an alarming multi-year trend, people of color and transgender and gender nonconforming people made up the majority of victims of LGBTQ and HIV-affected hate violence.
“Sadly, we know that hate violence in its many forms is intended to instill a message of hate and fear throughout our entire community. Hate crimes largely go under-reported, or not reported at all, and people are left with restoring their sense of safety and security on their own. BRAVO can help,” said Gloria McCauley, Executive Director of BRAVO.
BRAVO encourages anyone who has experienced anti-LGBTQ violence in Ohio to contact us toll free at 866-86-BRAVO or visit our website at http://www.bravo-ohio.org.
To learn more about our statewide advocacy and services, receive technical assistance, or support, contact BRAVO.
For help locating an anti-violence program in your area, please visit www.ncavp.org.
BRAVO continues to work closely with organizations and individuals throughout the state including TransOhio, Equality Toledo, and Equality Ohio as we come
together in response to this heinous act of violence."
BRAVO works to eliminate violence perpetrated on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identification, domestic violence and sexual assault through prevention, education, advocacy, violence documentation and survivor services, both within and on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities.
BRAVO is a proud founding member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)