Web tool lets LGBTI peo­ple re­port hate

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - GAUTENG NEWS - KUTULLO MADISHA ku­tul­lom@the­newage.co.za

IN THE wake of alarm­ing re­search con­firm­ing the se­vere vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual , trans­gen­der and in­ter­sex (LGBTI) com­mu­nity, a new plat­form has been launched by a Tsh­wane­based or­gan­i­sa­tion OUT to help vic­tims to anony­mously re­port hate crimes.

The Love Not Hate cam­paign is a first of its kind web tool and al­lows in­di­vid­u­als to log in and re­port any in­ci­dents that in­volve abuses of LGBTI in­di­vid­u­als in South Africa.

In­ci­dents can be re­ported by vic­tims or wit­nesses and can range from hate speech, on­line­ini­ti­ated crimes and ver­bal dis­crim­i­na­tion to vi­o­lent at­tacks. The re­ported in­ci­dents will be added to a map that will vis­ually dis­play where they have taken place.

The re­ports will be used by Love Not Hate to mon­i­tor hate crimes and un­der­stand where they hap­pen, adding to an ev­i­dence base that can be used to tackle the scourge through in­ter­ven­tion and aware­ness pro­grammes, and lob­by­ing of gov­ern­ment.

Vic­tims can also choose to re­quest as­sis­tance, whether it be coun­selling or health and le­gal sup­port, which will be fa­cil­i­tated by Love Not Hate.

“The re­al­ity is that many vic­tims of LGBT hate crimes are afraid to re­port in­ci­dents. They may fear be­ing forced to come out or sec­ondary vic­tim­i­sa­tion, even from the au­thor­i­ties,” Hate Crime Man­ager at OUT and spokesper­son for the Love Not Hate cam­paign Lerato Pha­lakat­shela said.

He said through the re­port­ing site, vic­tims can have a voice and tell their sto­ries anony­mously, while also help­ing civil so­ci­ety bet­ter un­der­stand the lo­ca­tion, fre­quency and types of hate crimes.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for the LGBTI com­mu­nity to play a part in help­ing im­prove the safety of other po­ten­tial vic­tims and to help re­duce hate crimes in South Africa,” he said.

A re­cently re­leased study by the Hate Crimes Work­ing Group found that mem­bers of the LGBTI com­mu­nity are among the most vul­ner­a­ble in­di­vid­u­als when it comes to hate­based in­ci­dents in South Africa.

The re­searchers say 35% of the cases doc­u­mented were per­pe­trated against les­bian or gay vic­tims and 1% against bi­sex­ual vic­tims, while 8% of vic­tims iden­ti­fied as trans­gen­der. Re­port these on www.re­port.lovenothate.org.za.

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