If someone has been violent or hostile towards you because of your sexual orientation, this is known as a homophobic hate incident.
Hostile or violent incidents because of your transgender identity are known as transphobic hate incidents.
Hate incidents can happen anywhere. Sometimes you may know the person who attacked you, but often hate incidents are carried out by strangers.
Read this page to find out more about homophobic or transphobic hate crime and incidents and what you can do about it.
LGBT HATE CRIME
Something is a homophobic or transphobic hate incident if the victim or anyone else thinks it was carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on sexual orientation or transgender identity.
This means that if you believe something is a hate incident, it should be recorded as this by the person you are reporting it to.
Sexual orientation and transgender identity refer to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT).
Anyone can be the victim of a homophobic or transphobic hate incident.
You can be the victim of a homophobic or transphobic hate incident if someone believes you’re a LGBT person even though you’re not. You can also be the victim of a hate incident because of your association with members of the LGBT communities.
WHAT IS AN LGBT HATE INCIDENT?
When a homophobic or transphobic hate incident becomes a criminal offence, it’s known as a hate crime. There are no specific homophobic or transphobic hate crimes. Any criminal offence can be a hate crime, if the offender targeted you because of their prejudice or hostility against LGBT people.
When someone is charged with a homophobic or transphobic hate crime, the judge can impose a tougher sentence on the offender under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Remember, the incident you’ve suffered may still be a crime even if it’s difficult to show it was carried out because of hostility based on sexual orientation or transgender identity.
WHEN DOES A HATE INCIDENT BECOME A CRIME?
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you’ve experienced a homophobic or transphobic hate incident or crime you can report it to the police. You can also report a hate incident or crime even if it wasn’t directed at you. For example, you could be a friend, neighbour, family member, support worker or simply a passer-by.
If you’re being repeatedly harassed by the same person or group of people, it’s best to report all the hate incidents you experience to help the police get the full picture.
When reporting the incident or crime you should say you think it was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on sexual orientation or transgender identity.