LGBT Health and Wellbeing provides a range of services to promote safety in our communities. If you have been a victim of a hate crime, or would simply like information on keeping safe, we are here to support you. We believe that every LGBT person has the right to live freely without the threat of hate crime. Don’t suffer in silence – we are here to help!
What is hate crime?
A hate crime is any crime where the victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity is the motivation behind the crime. As LGBT people, we have the right to live our lives without fear of being harmed in any way due to our sexual orientation or gender identity. So do our family and friends. Unfortunately, many LGBT people still experience hate crime. The good news is that the law is on your side. In March 2010, the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) Act in Scotland was extended to protect LGBT and disabled people. This means that if you have been victim of hate crime, you have the right to prosecute and the police will support you. Some examples of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes and incidents include:
- Emotional harm: for example name-calling, verbal abuse, hurtful comments being made about you, being spat at and bullying.
- Physical and/or sexual harm: including being hit, beaten, pushed, grabbed, groped or kicked.
- Having your home or belongings targeted with graffiti, vandalism or theft.
- Your friends and family being abused or targeted because of your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Being threatened or intimidated in any way.
- Any of these crimes committed against someone because they are believed to be LGB or T or because they spend time with people who are LGB or T.
- Any incident which is not a crime, but is homophobic, biphobic or transphobic.
Hate crime can happen on the street, in your home, on a night out, and at the workplace. It doesn’t matter who has targeted you, or where you are at the time – it is unacceptable, it is illegal, and we can help you challenge it. If you are an LGBT person who has been targeted due to your disability, race or religion, we can also support you.
Services we offer...
Our helpline offers emotional support and practical information for victims of LGBT hate crime. You can also remote report any incident and we will help guide you through the process. The helpline is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 12:00pm - 9:00pm, on 0300 123 2523.
If you have experienced a hate crime and you do not want to speak to the police directly, you can report it through us at LGBT Health and we‘ll do the rest. You can decide whether or not you want the incident investigated further, and it is your choice whether you want to leave your name and personal details or not. It is important that all hate crime is reported so that the police can monitor the areas where hate crime is happening and help make our community safer.
Information and support
Our staff can provide individual support if you have experienced hate crime, including talking through what happened, personal safety tips and reporting options and other sources of support. We are here for you when you need us.
We offer a free counselling service for LGBT people in Edinburgh. If you have been affected by hate crime and would like to speak with a qualified LGBT-friendly counsellor, let us know and we will place you on the waiting list. For more information or to request counselling, you can get in touch with Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0131 523 1100 (works Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and half-day on Fridays).