Hate crime in the UK is on the rise. Latest figures show an increase of 29% in 2016/17 compared with the previous year. Shining a spotlight on the issue has never been more important.
Hate crimes occur in many forms. They can be assault, harassment or abuse and can happen online or in person. All hate crimes are motivated by a prejudice towards a person’s race, sexuality, religion, disability or trans status. Despite much progress in changing societal attitudes, the LGBT community still experience hate crimes at an alarming rate.
Despite victims increasingly coming forward, more needs to be done to ensure the LGBT community are reporting incidents. YouGov data shows that four in five anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents go unreported, with young people particularly reluctant to report their experiences to police. Reporting rates are increasing but still dangerously low. LGBT Foundation are working to increase awareness of hate crimes and encourage victims and witnesses to come forward.
Below you can find information and advice on reporting hate crime.
LGBTphobia is an umbrella term for hatred of or discrimination against an individual based upon their sexuality or gender identity. Homophobia is the fear or dislike of someone, based on prejudice or negative viewpoints towards lesbian, gay or bi people.
Homophobic bullying may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, lesbian, gay or bi. Biphobia is the fear or dislike of someone who identifies as bi based on prejudice or negative attitudes against bi people. Biphobic bullying may be targeted at people who are, or who are perceived to be, bi. Transphobia is the fear or dislike of someone based on the fact they are trans, including the denial/refusal to accept their gender identity.
An LGBT hate incident is any incident (which may or may not be a criminal offence) motivated by prejudice towards sexual orientation or gender identity (or perceived sexual orientation/gender identity)
An LGBT hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived to be motivated by hostility towards sexual orientation or trans status (or perceived sexual orientation/trans status).
If you’re bullied at work or your colleagues behave in an offensive or intimidating way towards you based upon your sexuality or gender identity it constitutes harassment under the Equality Act 2010. Harassment is a form of discrimination under the Act.
If another colleague is harassing you, you can talk to your manager about it. If it’s your line manager who’s harassing you, you should approach a more senior manager or a member of the human resources department. You can ask a colleague to come with you to the meeting. Before this discussion takes place, think about what action you want to be taken. If it still does not stop, you can take it further to an employment tribunal.
In a social setting you may feel more comfortable to challenge prejudice or discrimination that you encounter due to your sexuality or gender identity. It is important that you never place yourself in any form of danger, but if you are in a safer space amongst friends then challenge negative views or attitudes where you can.
If someone makes a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic joke at your expense, ask them why it's funny. Say that you don't get it and ask them to explain why it's funny to you. Often they may not be able to justify the attitudes that underpin jokes at anothers expense. If someone hurts your feelings in relation to your sexuality and gender identity, tell them so and let them know how their behvaiour has impacted upon you and how it impacts upon others.
It is important to not place yourself in any danger, even if a stranger or a neighbour discriminates against you based on your sexuality or gender identity. If you are in immediate danger, it is important to call 999 and speak to the police immediately. If a hate crime or hate incident happens to you and you are not in danger, makes as many notes about details and times in the moment as is possible then you can report through LGBT Foundation and we act as a 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre.
Many victims of hate crime don’t report it as it’s such a daily occurrence to them that they think nothing will be done about it or it can’t be changed. It remains important that nobody should have to experience hate crime due to their sexuality or gender identity.
If you witness somebody else in the workplace be the victim of a hate crime or hate incident, it is important to make sure they’re ok but also don’t act without their wishes. At a point after the incident pull them aside, check they’re alright and ask if they want you to take it any further. If they do, speak to a manager about it and say you will be present as a witness to the event. If it’s their line manager who’s harassing them, you should approach a more senior manager or a member of the human resources department.
In a social setting you may feel more comfortable to challenge prejudice or discrimination that you encounter due to your sexuality or gender identity. Even in these settings, many victims of discrimination don’t challenge it as it’s such a daily occurrence to them that they think nothing will be done about it, it can’t be changed or they don’t want to make a fuss. Yet it is still important that these actions are challenged. At a point later on, it may be worth making sure the victim of discrimination is ok and letting them know that you think it was out of order.
It is important to not place yourself or anybody else in any danger, even if you witness a hate crime in progress. If you witness a hate crime in progress that you believe is an emergency, call 999 and contact the police immediately. If you witness a hate crime or hate incident that is not a dangerous incident, speak to the person afterwards and make sure they're ok. Make as many notes about details and times in the moment as is possible then, with their permission, you can report through LGBT Foundation and we act as a 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre.