National Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from 14th to 21st October across the UK this year, with last Tuesday already welcoming the return of the No2H8 Crime National Awards honoring the country’s top “upstanders” against hatred and hate crime.
This year, at a time when many different communities have witnessed an increase in hate crime over the last 12 months, I want to draw attention to one particular community. You see, a few months ago I watched a BBC documentary entitled “Is it Safe to be Gay in the UK?” and I was shocked by the statistics.
Take a look at this short clip:
Shocking isn’t it? See, the reality is that more and more members of the LGBTQ community are becoming victims of sickening hate crime. Just check out these figures:
- 1 in 4 members of the LGBTQ community have experienced violent hate crime
- 4 out of 5 hate crimes are not reported to authorities – in particular when younger members of the community are involved
- The number of homophobic attacks in the UK have risen by 80% since 2013
- 1 in 10 of those who have experienced hate crime were subjected to sexual violence
I find it astonishing that anyone should be subject to verbal, sexual or physical abuse for any “reason” – whether it be on the basis of their gender, skin colour, ethnic background, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or whatever quite frankly.
See the thing is, if we look over the last 12 months, the UK has witnessed a rise in Islamophobic hate crime, anti-Semitic hate crime and homophobic hate crime. In fact, according to reports, violent crime has also increased as a whole over the last year. What a sad reality….
Yes, it’s time we stood up and fought against this degeneration of behaviour and the security and peace of our society. So, here’s some advice from Stonewall about what you can do to help fight anti-LGBTQ hate crime and discrimination:
- Speak out if you see abuse – as long as it’s safe to do so
- Report local businesses and staff who discriminate
- Report cases of discrimination experienced by public service providers e.g housing or social services to the local council or service provider
For advice and support you can also contact Stonewall’s information service on 08000 50 20 20.
Lastly, for incidences of anti-religious abuse and hate-crime, the following services are available:
- Islamophobic hate crime: Tell MAMA (call 0800 456 1226, send a text/What’s App message, get in touch via social media/email or submit a form online)
- Anti-Semitic hate crime: CST (call 020 8457 9999 for information or fill out the online form
When one community suffers, we all suffer. So please stand up and stand out. We all need to be talking about this more to let people know that this is not acceptable and it will not go unpunished. Give the victims of such horrible abuse the confidence and support to report these crimes and help make our society safer, stronger and more social!
Say #no2h8 and take action!