One of the largest surveys on the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Northern Ireland has revealed many have been the victim of homophobic abuse and violence.
The Rainbow Project’s report, entitled Through Our Eyes, found that 64% of homophobic incidents go unreported and 21 per cent of bi and gay men and 18 per cent of women have been attacked in the past three years.
Nearly 40per cent of the 1,124 respondents said they are worried about homophobic crime and the same amount, 39 per cent, alter their behaviour to appear more “straight.”
Twenty-one per cent said they had experienced problems with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The police commissioned the survey.
The Rainbow Project Equality Officer John O’Doherty, who carried out the research, said: “Hate crime has a devastating effect on victims, those who fear being victim and on society in general.
“The PSNI have made substantial progress in gaining the co-operation of the LGB community and improving perceptions of the PSNI.
“However, there are still high levels of homophobic hate crime throughout Northern Ireland and low levels of reporting.”