First launched in 2013, the Love Not Hate campaign is an initiative between seven South African civil society organisations to address violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. Gender and sexuality-motivated hate crimes are increasingly common in South Africa, but they remain underreported and, in most cases, insufficiently investigated. In part, this is due to the ad-hoc response to hate crimes and a lack of dedicated resources. The situation is further complicated by limited awareness of the issue, both within the criminal justice system and the wider community, which makes it difficult for LGBTI hate crime survivors to access legal, medical and psychosocial support.
The programme does its work via a number of strategies:
- Outreach – communication campaign and safe spaces: Educating and empowering LGBTI communities about their rights and how to deal with hate crime incidents through posters and online and social media. Creating safe spaces where community members can interact and engage on the issues.
- Research: Conducting quantitative research on the kinds of hate crimes and discrimination that LGBTI people experience in South Africa.
- Engaging with government: Representation on the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Task Team addressing hate crimes against LGBTI people, and other related structures.
- Monitoring of hate crime cases: This is done through the Rapid Response Team and by reporting new cases.
- Service delivery to victims: Assisting victims to report incidents to the authorities and providing medical, legal and psychosocial services, wherever possible.
- In 2017, Love Not Hate launched its unique Reporting Website which allows victims or witnesses to anonymously report incidents. This information is used to monitor and document attacks. The site can be found here.
For more information about the Love Not Hate campaign, please visit www.lovenothate.org.za, the Facebook page or contact Lerato Phalakatshela, Hate Crime Manager at OUT. The Love Not Hate programme is funded by the Global Equality Fund.