If you see something, then say something!
Everyone has the right to feel safe and respected in our communities. No one has the right to make anyone feel unsafe or disrespected for any reason. We have laws that protect us all from abuse, harassment and being made to feel afraid. Additionally under the Equality Act, there are nine protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
It means people who have these differences cannot be treated any differently to others. They must be treated fairly and without discrimination.
Hate crime is any crime that is motivated by a hate or dislike for another, based on their protective characteristics. Hate crime can affect many people with a range of protective characteristics. Young people from the LGBTQ+ community experience unfair and unlawful treatment based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation. According to Stonewall UK, only one out of five hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people gets reported to police.
Statistics show that most hate crimes against LGBT young people are committed by other young people. It is important therefore to raise awareness of what young people can do in response to such harmful behaviours. If anyone sees something happening to another person that appears to be hate motivated, then we should report such hate incidents.
According to Stonewall, one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.
Many young people may not themselves actually ever commit a hate crime against someone based on their protected characteristic, such as being LGBT; however, they may witness such harmful behaviour or crimes in schools, or in the community. It is important therefore, to not remain silent about these incidents, but if they see something then they need to say something! Fearless is an online app that allows young people to report hate incidents or crimes, anonymously.
Together everyone can make a difference to ensuring that Wales is a safe and respectful place for us all!