2018 was the worst year on record in France for anti-LGBT+ attacks, according to charity SOS Homophobie, who called it “a dark year.”
Members of the LGBT+ community in France can report anti-LGBT+ attacks to the charity, who release yearly stats.
231 physical attacks on members of the LGBT+ community were reported to SOS Homophobie in 2018. Before now, the worst year on record was 2013, during which the charity recorded 188 anti-LGBT+ attacks.
SOS Homophobie recorded a significant jump in anti-LGBT+ attacks in France
The new statistics found that assaults on LGBT+ people jumped by 66 percent over the course of 2018 in France, and there was a spike towards the end of the year. By the end of 2018, SOS Homophobie was receiving daily reports of anti-LGBT+ attacks.
SOS Homophobie collected 1,905 separate statements from people who had witnessed anti-gay attacks, up 15 percent from the previous year.
62 percent of those who experienced anti-LGBT+ attacks said it was linked to rejection. Meanwhile, 51 percent said they were targeted with insults, 38 percent discrimination and 20 percent experienced harassment. 13 percent were linked to physical assaults.
They also found that anti-lesbian attacks were up by 42 percent from 2017, with 365 anti-lesbian attacks reported in 2018.
LGBT+ people are routinely targeted with abuse online in France
Meanwhile, 23 percent of the reports made to SOS Homophobie in 2018 were related to online anti-LGBT+ hate. The charity said these are exacerbated by anonymity, and called on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook to more carefully moderate their platforms.
They also noted that LGBT+ people with intersecting identities—such as LGBT+ people who have a disability—are more likely to face attacks.
The results mean that 2018 is the third year in a row that rates of anti-LGBT+ attacks have increased in France.
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The charity said that the huge leap in reported hate crimes could be linked to the #MeToo movement, with more people now likely to come forward.
SOS Homophobie has called on authorities to act urgently and effectively to end violence against the LGBT+ community in France and to continue to fight for equal rights.
The organisation has been publishing its own yearly stats since 1997.
A transgender woman was attacked by an angry mob in Paris just last month
The report comes just a month after a transgender woman was attacked by an angry mob in Paris while she was making her way to the Metro.
The woman—who has only been publicly identified by her first name, Julia—was making her way through a crowd at a protest against Algeria’s president in Place de la République when the attack occurred, according to BBC News.
In video footage of the attack that was later shared online, Julia can be seen walking up steps when a man reached out and ruffled her hair.
Another woman then approached Julia, seemingly to try to lead her away from the crowd. However, when another man reached out to touch her, Julia tried to run through the crowd.
She can then be seen being grabbed by another man who repeatedly punched her while other men gathered around.
Nearby metro guards intervened and pulled Julia away from the men and brought her to safety.