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The UK is experiencing a huge spike in LGBT hate crime

In a survey Stonewall found that abuse against LGBT people has risen by 78 per cent

LGBT charity Stonewall has found that the number of attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals has risen by almost 80 per cent in just four years. In a study based on YouGov polling of more than 5000 LGBT people in Britain, Stonewall also found that more than one in five have experienced a “hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation or gender identity”. The study covered verbal and physical attacks, and found that they are happening in all areas of public life.

The most common incident was being “insulted, pestered, intimidated or harassed” – nearly nine in ten people had been victims of this treatment. Reportedly, trans people receive the most abuse – with two in five having experienced a hate crime or incident in the last 12 months. BAME people were also badly affected, with a third having experienced a hate crime or incident in the last year.

This abuse and harassment affects all areas of LGBT people’s lives, with many of them finding themselves discriminated against when dealing with landlords or public services. Naturally, it also extended to the online world. Stonewall are working to combat this abuse and the level of unreported hate crimes with a new campaign, Come Out For LGBT. They have made recommendations to police forces, the Home Office, the Crime Prosecution Services, and other authorities to try and improve their systems for reporting and dealing with homophobic abuse. They stated that while the UK has taken “huge strides” towards achieving equality, much more needs to be done for LGBT people to feel truly safe and included. Stonewall has also released a line of Come Out For LGBT tshirts, and the website contains advice for LGBT people and allies.

Chief executive of Stonewall, Ruth Hunt, said in the introduction to the report, “the study also finds that anti-LGBT abuse extends far beyond acts of hate and violence on our streets. Many LGBT people still endure poor treatment while using public services and going about their lives, whether in their local shop, gym, school or place of worship”, adding, “these findings warn against complacency, and stand as a call to action. Building on the achievements of the past and working together as we look ahead, we can all play a role in bringing forward the day when every LGBT person, everywhere, is accepted without exception”.

It’s worth also noting that Home Office statistics show that there has been a general spike in all kinds of hate crime. You can read the full study here.