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Baseball-bat blows, stun-gun shootings, fire setting—these were some ways homeless people were attacked nationwide last year, according a report just released by the Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition for the Homeless. Of 70 attacks documented in 2003, nine were fatal. That’s far fewer than the 48 deaths counted in1999. But non-lethal assaults have greatly increased since then. The worst states for attacks in 2003 were Illinois, Texas and California, with 10, 9 and 8 incidents respectively. Two assaults were documented in New York state, including one in New York City, where homeless immigrant Krystyna Moros was allegedly raped and murdered in Borough Park. The report also notes an increase in hate speech against the homeless, in newspapers, on talk shows, and in “bum” videos that depict people humiliating themselves for food or money. In “The Bum Show.Com” a man gets a dollar to swallow Windex, then vomits. NCH is calling for homeless people to be classed as a group protected by hate crimes laws such as HR4204, a bill pending in the House. [06/28/04]

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