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National Helpline for LGBT+ Victims and Survivors of Abuse and Violence0800 999 5428

Email help@galop.org.uk

Barriers to Reporting Anti-LGBT+ Hate Crime

While everyone has the right to report to the police after experiencing a hate crime, certain communities face extra barriers to accessing that type of support. It’s important to be aware of these hurdles, so you can make reporting truly accessible.

LGBT+ victims of hate crime face specific barriers that either discourage or prevent them from having their experiences acknowledged, recorded, and investigated:

  • Trivialisation of abuse
  • Belief that nothing will come out of it
  • Concerns about consequences and escalation of violence​
  • Inaccessibility of services
  • Identity is often inaccurately recorded, especially for trans, non-binary, ace and bi people
  • Risk of criminalisation, especially for LGBT+ people with insecure immigration status
  • Poor previous experience of reporting​
  • Concerns about being outed by authorities

Here are some first steps you can implement to make your service more inclusive, and improve how LGBT+ people are treated when they come to you:

  • Do not assume that everyone is cisgender or heterosexual
  • Introduce yourself with your pronouns and allow people to tell you theirs if they wish
  • Take care not to ‘out’ anyone, deliberately or otherwise
  • Consider if domestic abuse or a sexual assault may have been motivated by anti-LGBT+ hate
  • Ask open questions about potential hate motivation
  • Be clear that a targeted person is never responsible for the violence they receive
  • Use active listening and reflect back the language used by the person you are talking to
  • Continue to build knowledge on LGBT+ experiences through trainings, and community engagement
  • Develop referral pathways with specialist services
  • Remember that official documents do not always reflect the true gender identity of a person
  • Remember to give victims regular updates, so they know that they haven’t been forgotten