HOMOPHOBIC HATE CRIME IN BRITAIN, RESEARCH FINDINGS, JAN BRIDGET

 

* CHE (Campaign for Homosexual Equality) conducted study between 1977 and 1980; recorded 250 incidents; 15% resulted in death or disablement of victim.

* London Gay Teenage Group Survey (1984) of 416 young lesbians and gays:

45% problems at school because of sexual orientation;

58% verbal abuse;

21% physical assault.

* GALOP (1991) survey at Lesbian & Gay Pride: 41% of gay men experienced physical assault.

* GALOP (1992) survey at Lesbian & Gay Pride:

40% of gay men and 25% of lesbians experiences physical assault;

80% of men and 72% of women experienced verbal abuse;

23% of men and 30% of women had reported incidents to police;

of these, 35% found police indifferent, 16% found them incompetent and 22% experienced harassment whilst reporting the incident.

* Lewisham Safer Cities (1992) involved 242 gay men:

81% verbal abuse;

45% physical assault (40% needing medical attention afterwards);

16% reported incidents to police;

32% worried 'about violence';

43% fear of assault increased;

55% felt violence against gay men had increased.

* Project SIGMA study of 387 gay men:

68% experienced verbal abuse;

24% physical assault (three had been knifed).

All but one of these assaults involved male assailants (often multiple assailants) and most assaults were perpetrated by strangers. 21 assaults occurred on the street, 19 outside gay venues and 16 at cottages and cruising areas. Very few reported incidents to police.

* Richardson (1994):

reported there were 155 murders of gay men and 3 murders of lesbians between 1986-94.

Overall unsolved murder rate is 10% per year but 22% of gay murders remained unsolved.

Two-thirds of gay murders occur in victim's home; 3% in cottages, 10% on the street, 10% in cruising areas.

* Truman et al (1994) 178 gay men and lesbians in Manchester: 38% of men, 21% of women said they had been 'queer bashed'.

* Fahey (1995) 105 gay men and lesbians in higher eduction settings:

39% suffered verbal abuse;

4% physical assault.

* Mason & Palmer (1996) cited Social and Community Planning Research sample of 116 representative bisexuals, gay men and lesbians from the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles:

43% experienced verbal abuse,

25% either physical assault or threatened.

* Stonewall (1996) national survey of hate crimes against lesbians, gays and bisexuals, 4,000 participants:

34% of men, 24% of women experience homophobic violence;

32% had been harassed;

12% threatened;

6% experienced vandalism;

4% hate mail;

19% unknown harassers; 8% colleagues; 6% neighbours.

37% reported incidents to police (lower % of those under 18 reported for fear of prosecution). Of these young people:

48% experienced violence,

61% harassed,

90% verbal abuse;

50% violent assaults involving fellow students;

44% of harassment from fellow students;

79% of verbal abuse from fellow students.

Parents and families of young people responsible for 5% of assaults, 14% of harassment, 19% of verbal abuse.

* Nayak & Kehily (1996): homophobic practices were regarded by teachers and pupils as natural and routine activities in the developing lives of young gay men.

* Douglas et al (1997) survey of 307 secondary schools in England and Wales:

82% of teachers aware of homophobic verbal bullying

26% aware of homophobic physical bullying in their schools.

99% had bullying policies but only 9% made reference to lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils.

In terms of teachers and schools addressing homophobic bullying, most cited efforts hindered by:

worries about parental disapproval;

lack of experienced staff;

lack of policies.

* GALOP (1997): survey of homophobia against lesbian, gay and bisexual young people: 167 people under 26:

81% experienced verbal abuse;

49% physical abuse;

43% sexual abuse;

33% harassment.

Only 19% reported to police;

only 33% received positive response.

Equal numbers of young women and young men experiencing abuse - difference, most of abuse against young women occurred in the home whilst that against young men was outside.

* Smith (1997) in early 1990s gay men were murdered at a rate of one every fortnight.

* Rivers (1998) 140 lgbs:

82% name-calling at school;

71% ridiculed;

60% hit or kicked;

49% experienced theft;

52% frightened by look or stare;

40% attempted suicide.

* John & Patrick, (1999) Glasgow survey of 65 gay men, 59 lesbians, 9 bisexuals, 1 msm, 1wsw:

85% verbal insults directly related to their sexual orientation;

60% threatened with physical violence;

26% had had their personal property damaged or destroyed;

35% had had objects thrown at them;

44% stated they had been chased or followed;

33% had been spat on;

14% wounded or assaulted with weapon;

37% sexually harassed;

17% sexually assaulted;

16% raped; (all because someone knew or suspected they were lesbian or gay).

26% harassed by police;

25% of whom had been beaten up or assaulted

7% of whom because they were known or presumed to be lesbian or gay.

* Mullen (1999) Berkshire Anti-Homophobia Group study conducted across Reading, 314 respondents, 107 aged 25 or below (34%):

70% of young lgbs in verbally abused;

63% because of their sexual identity;

39% physically abused (beaten up, hit, kicked, pushed, things thrown at them),

26% because of their sexual identity;

32% sexually abused, 8% male, 13% female;

12% reported abuse, harassment and violent incidents to police; most perpetuated by gangs or strangers on street, significant number occurred in local schools, colleges, workplaces and on gay 'scene.'

* National Advisory Group/Lesbian & Gay Communities (1999):

© Jan Bridget/Lesbian Information Service, 2000