Homophobic abuse 'not being reported'

Published Monday, 13 May 2013
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Eight out of 10 cases of homophobic discrimination go unreported in Northern Ireland, a study has found.

Homophobic abuse 'not being reported'
The study found that homophobic abuse is still rife in NI. (© UTV)

The Equality Commission said just 44% of people are aware of how the law could protect them against intolerance on the grounds of sexual orientation.

It was reported that a significant level of prejudice still exists against members of the gay, lesbian and bisexual community in NI.

However chief commissioner Michael Wardlow said transphobic incidents have been some of the most severe.

"The highest level of negativity was reserved for the smaller minority of people who struggle with their gender identity - trans people," he said.

"Everyone has the same rights under our equality and hate crime laws to lead a life free from discrimination, abuse or harassment. But prejudice is still rife."

According to the PSNI there were 246 homophobic incidents in the past year.

The figure is up by 46 (23%) on 2012.

Incidents described as transphobic jumped from four to 15 over the last year and there were a further six transphobic crimes - a 100% rise from the three the previous year.

The figures were released as part of Anti-Homophobia week.

Mr Wardlow added that the commission receives 3,000 queries a year but just 2.5% concerned sexual orientation and even fewer related to gender identity.

He said: "We have already recognised the need to take special measures to address under-reporting of sexual orientation discrimination here in Northern Ireland.

"We know that we need to make particular efforts to reach out to LGBT individuals who may feel that they are totally alone and that they have no recourse against unfair treatment. These are the people who could really benefit from our staff's advice, support and experience. And individuals can be reassured of receiving a confidential and supportive response when they seek our help."

© UTV News
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19 Comments
Research in Coleraine wrote (342 days ago):
Frosty, 1.8% of the population in Northern Ireland are ethnic minority groups according to the 2011 Census (Source 1). The ONS (Source 2) figures put the percentage of same sex attraction people at 0.9% of the population so you're wrong about there being more same sex attraction people in Northern Ireland than ethnic minorities. I also think you can hardly count yourself as a theologian or an historian especially when you've been owned like this. Gerard whether you're happy to allow yourself to accept the gay movement's campaign and pretend that it's acceptable for the rights of a tiny minority group to be risen above the majority that's entirely up to you. I know that the gay movement are not just after equality; they want to shout abuse at anyone who happens to disagree with them; quoting figures from studies where the respondents give them the answers they want to hear. They're following the model that was designed for them in "After the Ball". Read it objectively and you'll find I'm accurate. One of the leaders of the gay movement recently said that he wanted to adopt children because he felt that they would make better parents than heterosexual couples because "they really wanted children". As for the APA vote in 1973, did you actually read about what happened? Did you also read the remarks from the leading lights in the movement themselves who described the vote as ideological and having no scientific basis. Interesting stuff eh? I'm a great believer in questioning and if you would read about what went on including the groups that the movement's early protagonists were involved with you'd be concerned and with good reason.
David in East Belfast wrote (342 days ago):
I noticed by your comments that a lot of you don't even know what a Christian is. A Christian is not a religious catholic or protestant, a Christian is someone who is born again of the Spirit of God, having sins forgiven and is a new creation in Christ Jesus. You can have all the Christian opinions and religious goodness you like, as Larry said - all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So until you understand what a true Christian is, don't talk a lot of twaddle about things of which you are totally ignorant. As far as your gay practices are concerned, it's not what Christians say that matters, it is what God says, and as Larry I'm sure knows, He will have the final say at the great white throne of Judgement.
Gerard K in Belfast wrote (343 days ago):
Research, I got to the 2nd line of you're comment and thought here we go again. What "gay agenda"? There has been a lot of debate around homophobia recently due to the Equality Laws and same sex marriage. I will repeat, all that the gay community are asking for is equality, nothing more and nothing less. It is obvious that you are against gay marriage/equality so a debate with you would be pointless, nevertheless you are entitled to you're opinion. As for you're comments re:bullying. I never said that the gay community were the only people experiencing this, and why you choose to state "teenagers with same sex attraction" I will never know. People of all ages, men and women who are gay experience bullying as do other members of society. As to you're comment that gay people claim that they would make better parents, who said this? I thought the comments surrounding this issue said that gay people could make just as good parents as those who are not gay. At the end of the day,I will reiterate. Being Gay is not a choice just as being straight is not. Gay people work, pay taxes and live within the law just as others do, surely we are entitled to the same rights?? And by the way Research, I do not need to read up on the history of being gay. I live my life. Maybe if you took the time to read up on equality and it's meaning and testimonials or narratives from gay people through the ages you would get a bit of insight into what its like to be Gay and how despite you're and others like you protestations, some people will continue to be born Gay and others straight and do you know there is not one thing you can do about it. Peace to you and may God bless you.
Frosty in Here wrote (343 days ago):
NB @ Research in Coleraine, perhaps if you did a bit more research, you might understand the gay agenda a little better? For one thing, "sex education for children" in schools isn't about sex, it's about the human reproductive system, a biology lesson. You might, if you looked back within living memory, learn that homosexuality was a crime until the 1970s, even considered a mental illness, for which they could lock someone up. Also, go back in history a little further and you'd learn that Hitler sent homosexuals to the gas chambers, not just the Jews, as the media and history lessons would have us believe, but anyone considered "socially undesirable". Can go even further back, to a few thousand BC, when Leviticus said God wants all the queers stoned to death. I agree with you on it should be the same rights for everyone, yet you contradict your own beliefs by having a go at gay marriage. I'd be intersted to see your source for the 1% of the population is gay, I'd say there's more gays in Northern Ireland than there is black or Asian people. Democracy is the tyranny of the majority.
Frosty in Here wrote (343 days ago):
@Larry in Belfast, when you say abuse that Christians get, do you mean Catholics for being Catholic, or the Orangemen for their anti-Catholic stance? Or do you mean the love your neighbour, forgive all kind? Also, how many times have you been physically assaulted for your beliefs? I find Christians are only Christians when it suits them. I've yet to meet a real one. I don't think gay people choose to be gay and, considering the abuse they get and the social stigma attached, I'd say quite a few of them wish they weren't.
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