West Midlands Police and local teams, such as, Dudley Police are backing a national campaign to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic hate crime and to encourage victims to seek help by speaking out.
In a film released today – International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHoT) – a group of 36 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) police officers and police staff from 16 police forces across the UK tell their stories.
‘It Gets Better’ offers heartfelt messages of support and encouragement to young LGBT people who are struggling with their sexual identity or bullied for being “different.”
The officers tell their collective story about the challenge of growing up and living their lives as LGBT people.
In direct acknowledgment of the mental health implications hate crimes can have on victims, the officers stress that suicide is not the answer, suggesting people seek the help of trusted people around them if they are being bullied and to call the police if they are experiencing hate crime.
Matt Barlow, Team Leader from Summit House Support, a West Midlands based charity supporting LGBT Equality and Diversity, said:
“We sometimes hear about hate crimes in our local community and we know hate crime should not be tolerated – that’s why we have started working with the local police to develop a safe and supportive environment to allow easy reporting of hate crimes. Next week we hope to become a third party reporting centre for hate crime for people in our communities. With so many Pride events taking place across the West Midlands in the coming months we want to encourage everyone to report hate crimes and reduce the harassment and social isolation faced by the LGBT community.”
You can find out more about Homaphobic Hate Crime on the Dudley Local Policing Website here