Shocking new research from University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies reveals that 88 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people had experienced some form of hate incident.
There is compelling evidence that suggests that over 35,000 homophobic and transphobic hate crimes happen every year in the UK with just a fraction of those actually reported.
The report from the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies reveals that 88 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people had experienced some form of hate incident leaving them with emotional and physical scars.
Based on in-depth interviews in Leicester and Leicestershire the report also states only 14 percent of LGB victims reported their most recent experience of hate crime to the police.
Even more worrying is that stats show that the victims of transphobia can be targeted up to 50 times in one year, however, only three in ten reports the incident.
The publication of the report coincides with a major new campaign to raise awareness of LGB and T hate crime by a partnership of 31 organisations, funded by the Commission.
With the message of ‘Recognise it. Report it.’ the campaign will empower LGB and T people to stand up against hate crime through education and training as well as establishing local partnerships.
Led by the LGBT Consortium, this is the first time that groups from across England and Wales have come together to tackle hate crime, with a focus on rural communities where reporting is especially low.
Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of the LGBT Consortium, said:
“LGBT communities are already working with the police to remove barriers to reporting, and offer practical and emotional support. However, too often, LGBT people don’t know they are experiencing hate crime or just shrug it off.
“Collectively, we are saying it is time to move on from this. Our message today is recognise hate crime when it happens, report it, and get support when you need it.”
Equality and Human Rights Commissioner Evelyn Asante-Mensah, called for committed action:
“Pride season is upon us and it seems an opportune moment to reflect on the great steps made towards equality, while highlighting the hidden scandal of underreporting of LGB and T hate crime.
“Just as the Commission is doing with disability hate crime, we need to bring this problem into the open and create a culture where victims are confident to come forward and society confronts all forms of abuse.”
HATE CRIMES ARE ROUTINE
Report author, Dr Stevie-Jade Hardy, a lecturer at the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies, said:
“Hate crimes are a routine, and mostly unreported feature of many LGB and T people’s daily lives.
“Simply expecting victims to report without taking meaningful action to dismantle perceived and actual barriers is futile, particularly when the evidence shows that many have little confidence in the capacity of authorities to act empathetically or effectively.”
The Commission is also funding the UK’s only 24/7 nationwide LGB and T hate crime helpline, run by Stop Hate UK – 0808 801 0661.
Other regional helplines can be found at www.lgbthatecrime.org.uk