40 Percent Of Trans People In The U.K. Reported Experiencing A Hate Crime In The Last 12 Months & This Organization Is Working To Protect Them
New research from LGBT advocacy organization Stonewall has painted a grim picture of the discrimination LGBT people in the U.K. faced in 2017. The report includes findings that more than 40 percent of transgender people experienced a hate crime or "incident" in the last 12 months because of their gender identity.
The research report, LGBT in Britain — Hate Crime and Discrimination, comprises information from more than 5,000 LGBT people polled by research and data analytics firm YouGov, on behalf of Stonewall. On the report's landing page, Stonewall said the findings reveal that "anti-LGBT abuse extends far beyond acts of hate and violence on our streets" because LGBT folks are often targeted "while using public services and going about their lives."
Stonewall's research showed that 48 percent of trans people indicated they were scared to use public restrooms, that 12 percent of trans people reported being physically attacked by a colleague or customer at work, and that 28 percent of trans people had faced domestic abuse from a partner in 2017. Along with finding that two in five trans people experienced a hate crime or incident in 2017, YouGov's poll found that more young trans people face hate crimes (56 percent, ages 18 to 24) than their older peers.
Research also indicated that one in five LGBT people experienced a hate crime or incident, that 34 percent of LGBT people of color experienced a hate crime or incident compared to one in five white LGBT people, and that 81 percent of anti-LGBT hate crimes and incidents are not reported, "with younger LGBT people particularly reluctant to go to the police."
Trans activist Charlie Craggs told The Independent she'd "lost count" of how many times trans friends of hers had experienced a hate crime but hadn't felt comfortable going to the police. "There's not much faith in the police within our community," she said. "They have a history of transphobia and having to go to a police station and be misgendered, judged or treated like you brought this on yourself is the last thing you feel like doing. It's not like much is going to happen to the person who did attack you, anyway."
Stonewall recommends that police forces take action to help repair their relationship with the LGBT community, starting with training "all police officers and frontline staff to identify and record homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic hate crimes, better support victims, and bring perpetrators to justice." Stonewall also recommends that officers regularly engage wtih LGBT people to understand the impact of hate crimes "across multiple identities."
On a broader scale, Stonewall is pushing for a review of hate crime laws, and wants hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability to have equal weight with hate crimes that are committed based on race or religion, the organization said in the LGBT in Britain report.
The National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) told The Independent that it's working to develop a new national hate crime training program for officers and call handlers, and that program will include training on sensitivity to trans folks.
"Traditionally, transphobic hate crimes have been significantly under-reported but we are working closely with trans groups to build confidence and trust in the police," Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke, the NPCC's lead for LGBT issues, told The Independent. "However, there's always more that can be done. Better knowledge is key as we continue to challenge hate and reduce the harm it causes."
And while knowledge like that published in LGBT in Britain is painful to confront, it's also necessary. The fact that anti-LGBT hate crimes are under-reported makes it even more imperative that all of us, members of the LGBT community and allies alike, ensure that even if many people don't know the true extent of the difficulties we face, we are educated and prepared to fight for more comprehensive hate crime legislation.