We're currently enjoying a Summer of celebrating diversity and equality!
With Pride month throughout June and even more Pride events to look forward to within and close to Gloucestershire county, it's great to see so many people expressing their individuality and even being an ally to the LGBT+ community.
However, we are also experiencing a time of several incidents involving Hate Crime, with a rise in incidents from previous years.
Whilst more reporting is happening, and it's being brought to people's attention, Hate Crime is something the LGBT+ community, and other minority groups live in fear of being targeted for.
Please note: the remainder of this article contains some graphic content.
On Monday, Ellie-Mae Mulholland was beaten up and called 'f****** lesbian' over a £10 note loan in Hull. Two women were attacked in London at the end of May for refusing to kiss each other infront of four young men. And a recent publication of transgender hate crimes shows a rise of 81% across 36 police forces in the UK.
Hate crime can occur in many ways, and it's important to remember that if someone feels discriminated against based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability and many minority groups, it is very common that they've been a victim of a hate crime.
They could've experience verbal or physical abuse, or direct actions against them to make them feel as if their livelihood is of less value than other's.
By visiting www.gloshate.co.uk, you can familiarise yourself with the ways of reporting hate crime. There are many examples where victims of hate crime prefer to keep the incident under wraps and not tell somebody, even a family member or a friend. It's important they make the incident known of, as along with a great deal of support, it means that perpretrators have a greater chance of understanding their wrong-doing.
It also brings attention to incidents which may already be occurring on a regular basis in a certain area, and ensures services are ready to act to minimalise them.
If you feel you have witnessed a hate crime, or a victim has confided in you about their experience, it is always supportive to both the individual and community to report the incident.
How to Report Hate Crime
There are multiple ways to report a hate incident, even for those who have not been a direct victim.
1. Report it through Victim Support, who will contact you within three working days. This is handled confidentially, and any information and personal details shared to the Police will be done only with your permission, under most conditions.
2. Report it to CrimeStoppers - by calling 0800 555 111, or through their online form - this can be for witnesses or victims and is treated completely anonymously. CrimeStoppers act separately from the Police, so will share information on your behalf and aim to provide context to the incident rather than the individual making the report.
3. Liaise directly with Police - while it may seem daunting, a call or report to the police can often be the most effective way of getting incidents handled. For incidents taking place as you make contact, it's always best to dial 999. For incidents you wish to report on, whether you're a witness or victim, you are better suited to dial 101 or submitting a form to allow them to investigate.
It's important to remember that when reporting hate crime and hate incidents, there is a great level of support in place from both the police service and organisations such as Victim Support.
We hope that there is a future not too far away, where those committing hate crime recognise the impact it can have on victims, and whilst we encourage you to report incidents, that we see a decrease in the number taking place.
Please share about how to report on Hate Crime with family and friends to raise awareness about the local options available.