Diverse & Resilient is heartbroken to learn of the homicide of Andrew (Drew) Nesbitt in Madison, Wisconsin on Monday, March 27, 2017.

“As an advocate for LGBTQ individuals who are victims of violence, I first met Drew when he was a victim of a brutal hate crime in 2011 on Christmas Eve outside of a gay bar in Oshkosh, Wisconsin,” said Kathy Flores, LGBTQ Statewide Anti-Violence Coordinator. “He suffered a beating from two men who left him so injured he required emergency surgery to reduce swelling in his brain. Drew worked diligently over the years to recover physically and emotionally and recently relocated to Madison. After that attack in 2011, Drew worked with me to help tell his story in order to help keep others safe. I was heartbroken to learn that he suffered another violent attack and died as a result of that attack. We hold his friends and families close in our hearts as they grieve the loss of Drew who was such a dear, loving, and sweet person.”

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from 2014. It is important to note that many hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people often go unreported and the actual number is higher. While the motivation for this crime has yet to be reported, Diverse & Resilient is available to offer support for LGBTQ individuals. Diverse & Resilient offers a statewide anti-violence resource call or text phone line for LGBTQ individuals who are victims of all violence or at risk of being victims of violence.

Please consider the following safety tips if you are heading out, but remember even if you follow all of these safety tips and violence happens, it is never your fault. Please visit our website for suggestions at www.roomtobesafe.org/get-help/stay-safe-tips/.

The Room to Be Safe Anti-Violence Program and National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs are here to support LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors of all forms of violence, including hook-up, dating, sexual, intimate partner, hate, and police violence. If you have witnessed or experienced violence, contact Kathy Flores through Diverse & Resilient’s Room to Be Safe Anti-Violence Program by calling or texting 414-856-LGBT (5428) or the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 24 Hour English/Spanish Hotline at 212-714-1141. You can also visit our website at www.roomtobesafe.org