Incidents can be reported by victims or witnesses, and they can range from hate speech, online-initiated crimes and verbal discrimination to violent attacks. The reporting can be anonymous and will be added to a map that will visually display where incidents have taken place.
The reports will be used by Love Not Hate to monitor hate crimes and understand where they happen, adding to an evidence base that can be used to tackle the scourge through intervention and awareness programmes and lobbying of government.
Importantly, victims can also choose to request assistance, whether it be counselling or health and legal support, which will be facilitated by Love Not Hate.
“The reality is that many victims of LGBT hate crimes are afraid to report incidents. They may fear being forced to come out or secondary victimisation, even from the authorities,” says Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT and spokesperson for the Love Not Hate campaign.
“Through the Love Not Hate Reporting Site, victims can still have a voice, and tell their stories anonymously, while also helping civil society better understand the location, frequency and types of hate crimes.”
Phalakatshela adds: “It’s an opportunity for the LGBTI community to play a part in helping improve the safety of other potential victims and to help reduce hate crimes in South Africa.”
A recently released study by the Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG) found that members of the LGBT community are among the most vulnerable individuals when it comes to hate-based incidents in South Africa.
According to the researchers, 35% of the cases they documented were perpetrated against lesbian or gay victims and 1 percent against bisexual victims, while 8% of victims identified as transgender.
Love Not Hate’s own 2016 research found that 41% of LGBT people in South Africa know someone who’s been murdered due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The study also found that 7% of LGBT people had been punched, hit, kicked or beaten; 7% experienced violence from a family member; and 6% had been raped or sexually abused.
For more information please contact Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT on +27 (0)87 550 2521 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT OUT LGBT WELL-BEING
OUT LGBT Well-being has been providing services to the South African LGBT community for more than 21 years. OUT offers sexual health and psychosocial services; conducts research; trains mainstream services to meet the needs of their LGBT clients; and lobbies for LGBT equality. OUT is registered with the Department of Social Development as a non-profit organisation. For more information please visit www.out.org.za.
ABOUT LOVE NOT HATE
The “Love Not Hate campaign” is an initiative addressing violence against LGBTI people. The programme works with government and other partners to bring awareness about LGBTI hate crimes to the public and service providers. This includes assisting LGBTI persons to report incidents of violence and to navigate the justice system, as well as tracking hate crimes. For more information go to www.lovenothate.org.za.