Web tool lets LGBTI people report hate
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.