One in six people have seen an anti-gay hate crime in the past year

Joseph McCormick January 27, 2016
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One in six people have witnessed at least one hate crime based on sexual orientation in the past year, new research has found.

The research was released by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and was released today on Holocaust Memorial Day.

Six percent of respondents said they had been subjected to a hate crime based on actual or perceived sexual orientation, and 5 percent said the same based on their gender identity.

More than one in ten, 12 percent, have witnessed a hate crime in the past year based on gender identity.

Over one in for people, 27 percent, of people said they had witnessed some kind of hate crime incident in the last year.

For the purpose of the study hate crimes were defined as acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.

A majority of those, 69 percent, who witnessed a hate crime, said they regret not having challenged it.

The research was broken down into five characteristics race or ethnicity, religion or beliefs; sexual orientation; disability; and transgender identity.

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Chief Executive Olivia Marks-Woldman said: “The theme for the thousands of Holocaust Memorial Day events taking place across the country today is ‘Don’t stand by’, and these figures show just how important that message is.

“Today is about remembering the atrocities of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but it’s also about finding ways to make sure they can never happen again. We know that silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root, so we want to encourage people to stand up and speak out, in the way many brave souls have in the past.”

According to the results of the research, young people were more willing to challenge hate crimes by speaking to the person behind the abuse.

Abuse included name calling, which was the most common, but also included harassment, threats of violence and actual violence including hitting, punching, pushing or spitting.

As well as in person, more than a quarter of people, 28 percent, said they had witnessed online abuse on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Three quarters said they thought trolling online was equal to shouting at someone in the street in terms of harmfulness.

Marks-Woldman added: “As well as taking stock of what’s happening in our own communities here in the UK today, we also need to be mindful of the fact that genocide is continuing in Darfur, where thousands of people have been murdered and millions have been forced to flee to makeshift refugee camps. We all need to reflect on the fact that the path to genocide begins with exclusion and discrimination, and that standing by allows hatred to take hold.”

More: Hate crime, HMD, Holocaust, Holocaust Memorial Day, witness

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