UK: Hate crime is everyday reality for rural LGBT people, study says

LGBT people in Britain’s rural towns and villages are being bullied relentlessly because of their sexuality, leaving some too scared to leave the house, according to an expert in hate crime.

Stevie-Jade Hardy, a lecturer at the University of Leicester’s Centre for Hate Studies and the author of a report on hate crime, said harassment and verbal abuse was an everyday reality for many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Hardy pointed to national figures that suggest eight in 10 LGBT people have been verbally abused or harassed and one in 10 has been physically assaulted.  She said LGBT people felt they were more likely to be the victim of hate crime if they were “noticeably different”, potentially making those in villages particularly vulnerable.

“Within rural locations those differences are maybe magnified, and so young people will often target someone who they see as being different in that context. People are actually scared to go out into their garden to enjoy the sun; some people had taken some practical steps like having CCTV put into their house.  Read More