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Berlin is experiencing a surge in homophobic and transphobic attacks

Patrick Kelleher December 3, 2019
Berlin is experiencing a surge in homophobic and transphobic attacks

Carsten Koall/Getty

There has been a notable rise in homophobic and transphobic attacks in Berlin this year so far.

The German capital city has a reputation for being socially liberal, but attacks against LGBT+ people are on the rise, police have said.

Between January 1 and the end of September this year, there were 261 recorded anti-LGBT+ incidents including threats, insults and attacks. In the same period of last year, there were 184 reported incidents.

The city’s police chief Barbara Slowik revealed the shocking statistics this week at an event organised by the Alliance Against Homophobia, the Berliner Morgenpost reported.

Police chief draws attention to ‘increasing polarisation in society’ as Berlin attacks rise.

She said that the bulk of the anti-LGBT+ attacks took place in the areas of Mitte, Schöneberg, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Neukölln.

Slowik also noted that there has been “increasing polarisation in society” and an “increase in hate crime” has come about as a result.

She also noted that many hate incidents likely to unreported, which is a cause for concern for the city’s police force.

Anti-LGBT+ hate crimes have been on the rise in Germany now for several years. In 2013, police recorded 50 violent attacks against LGBT+ people.

Deeper problems in society causing rise in hate crimes.

Speaking in September, Doris Achelwilm of Germany’s Left party said the statistics reflect deeper societal problems, according to DW.

“The increase in violence is not a coincidence,” she said. “It emerges from a social climate that puts minorities under renewed pressure. It is more important than ever before, to strengthen the way which the relevant police authorities deal with hate crime and to offer more in terms of victim protection, violence prevention and raised awareness.”

The figures may come as a surprise to members of the LGBT+ community as Berlin has a reputation for being particularly tolerant of sexual and gender minorities.

A poll released last year suggested that the majority of Germans are accepting of LGBT+ people. Seventy per cent of those surveyed by Playboy Germany said they would not care if their child was gay – however, the survey also found that Germans were not as welcoming to Muslims. 55.7 percent of those surveyed said they would not want a mosque near their home.

More: Berlin, Germany, Hate crime, Homophobia, transphobia

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