NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There have been a disturbing number of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community in New York City.
Fifty have been reported so far this year when there were only 12 during the same period last year.READ MORE: Brian Laundrie's Remains Found In Florida Nature Reserve, Officials Say
Wednesday, several victims from the transgender community in Queens and Brooklyn came together to call for an end to the violence.
Twenty-six-year-old Jennifer, a transgender woman, says going out in public has become almost paralyzing.
“Now more than ever I have trauma. I don’t feel secure. There’s so many people on the street that I don’t know what they’re going to do,” she told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez in Spanish.
She has a broken arm, stitches and abrasions on her leg after she says a man assaulted her over the weekend.
“I don’t want any other trans woman to go through what I went through,” she said.
The attack happened in Woodside, Queens, around 5 a.m. Saturday.
Jennifer says she and her friends were waiting for a taxi at the intersection of 70th Street and 41st Avenue when she says a man armed with broken glass and rocks went after them. They tried to run away, but Jennifer tripped and fell to the ground.READ MORE: 7-Year-Old Honorary NYPD Officer Diagnosed With Chronic Respiratory Failure Leaves Hospital
“He was throwing the rocks at my head, and I tried to cover myself as much as possible, and that’s how my arm is now fractured,” she said.
Jennifer and several trans women from Brooklyn and Queens came together to share their painful stories of being victimized because of their sexuality.
They’re frightened by the spike in hate crimes, like one in April where a suspect yelled anti-gay slurs at a man and punched him in the face.
The group wants the city to do more to protect the LGBTQ+ community, including educating local businesses on how to provide a safe haven for people being harassed.
“Our dream is that if someone feels like they’re being harassed, that they can go into a store, that the store can close the doors and that way we can prevent and deescalate any potential violence,” said Mateo Guerrero, with Make the Run New York. “If someone needs to talk to a social worker right away, that they can call and they can show up in that moment and walk them home.”
Jennifer says she just wants peace of mind, justice and for all voices to be respected and heard.MORE NEWS: About 1,000 Full Propane Tanks Found Illegally Stored At Queens Warehouse
Police say they’re still looking for the man accused of attacking Jennifer.