More people are seeking help after homophobic hate crimes

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An LGBT anti-violence charity has reported that far more people are now seeking help for hate crimes.

The news comes from the National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership of 52 organisations across the UK, as it marks National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Hate crime charity Galop has reported a surge in cases – with the number of those seeking help doubling over the course of this year.

106 people sought help from Galop for anti-LGBT hate crimes from June-August, up from 52 in March-May.

The partnership notes that “other LGBT groups across the country have also reported a large increase in those reporting experiences of hate crimes”.

Nik Noone, Chief Executive of Galop, said: “We’ve seen the number of people getting in touch with our hate crime advocacy service more than double in recent months.

“Though one person facing hate crime is one too many, we see this rise in people getting in touch as a cause for optimism and are proud of our part in helping empower people to speak up about their experiences and access assistance.”

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of the LGBT Consortium, said: “From what our members are telling us, it seems that this picture is being mirrored across other parts of the UK.

“The message is getting out that LGBT people don’t have to put up with being targeted. We know, however, that service provision is patchy across the UK and so not everyone can access the help they need, particularly in rural communities.

“It’s important that these crimes are reported so that the police have a clear picture and can tackle the issue. There are a number of ways in which people can do that anonymously, if they don’t feel able to approach the police directly, for whatever reason.”

Evelyn Asante–Mensah, Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, said: “We know that there are thousands of unreported hate crimes committed against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity every year.

“Whilst it is encouraging to hear more people are coming forward for help, all LGBT people experiencing hate crime should feel empowered to report it.”