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‘WE MUST CALL IT HATE TO COME FORWARD’: UNIVERSITY OF BRESCIA AND LAMBDA WARSAW’S SECOND TRANSNATIONAL PROJECT ON ANTI-LGBT HATE CRIME RECEIVES EU FUNDING




2017 06 28

Public campaigns, research and outreach activities in 10 countries, over 11 million people reached – these are the goals of the project Call It Hate: Raising Awareness of Anti-LGBT Hate Crime, which will be implemented by the University of Brescia (Italy) and Lambda Warsaw (Poland) together with international partners. The project has just received over 1,000,000.00 EUR co-financing from the European Commission. The project complements the currently implemented action Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes, led by the same organizations and also co-funded by the EU.

The new project, named Call It Hate, tackles anti-LGBT hate crime by raising awareness of the need to report this violence among the LGBT communities and the wider society. It consists of three main workstreams. First, the consortium will measure the awareness of anti-LGBT hate crime in 10 EU countries. Based on the results of the survey, national partners will organize public campaigns tailored to the local needs. The campaigns will target the public and will aim at increasing their awareness of anti-LGBT hate crime. Simultaneously, organizations will reach out to LGBT groups, empowering them and encouraging to report. The project will reach over 10 million people from the general public and over 1 million LGBT persons. It will last for 24 months, beginning in late autumn 2017.

By engaging with both the broader society and the LGBT community, the project creates synergies with Come Forward, which in turn maximizes the effectiveness of both projects. – says Piotr Godzisz from Lambda Warsaw, scientific leader of the project. – Come Forward focuses on building capacity of reporting centres and victim support service providers, i.e. professionals. But we believe that professionals might not have a chance to do their work unless victims make the report. That’s why we need to empower them and encourage them to come forward.

Both Call It Hate and Come Forward are co-financed from the European Commission’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme 2014-2020.

To be granted another co-financing by the European Commission just a year after Come Forward is an incredible result for the University of Brescia and the Department of Law. It is the fifth European co-financing we are granted in last three years and the third as Coordinator. What we are most proud of is that all five projects deal with non-discrimination, equality and tolerance. It must be said: equality makes the difference - declared Giacomo Viggiani from the University of Brescia, the project’s coordinator.

Call It Hate will be delivered by a partnership of almost 50 organizations – NGOs, media companies, universities and public bodies - from 13 from EU and non-EU countries: University of Brescia (Italy), Lambda Warsaw (Poland), Çavaria (Belgium), Bilitis (Bulgaria), GLAS (Bulgaria), Zagreb Pride (Croatia), Háttér (Hungary), LGL (Lithuania), University of Girona (Spain), Galop (United Kingdom), University of Limerick (Ireland), Transgender Equality Network (Ireland), Legebitra (Slovenia), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Avvocatura per i Diritti LGBTI (Italy), University of Bergamo (Italy), University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy), Anddos (Italy), Commissioner for Human Rights (Poland), National Bar Council - Human Rights Committee (Poland), Municipality of Gdansk (Poland), Tolerado (Poland), Stonewall Housing (United Kingdom), Municipality of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Association for Nonviolent Communication (Slovenia), Police Academy (Slovenia), ILGA Europe, Human Rights House (Croatia), Ombudsperson for Gender Equality (Croatia), Police Academy (Croatia), State Attorney (Croatia), Network of Emancipation (Croatia), Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (Hungary), Hungarian Helsinki Committee (Hungary), Journalists for Tolerance (Lithuania), Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania), Bulgarian Lawyers for Human Rights (Bulgaria), DDB (Bulgaria), Huge.bg (Bulgaria), Dnevnik.bg (Bulgaria), One2One (Bulgaria), International Network for Hate Studies, Grindr, Sarajevo Open Centre (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Okvir (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (Georgia), and DOTYK (Belarus).

- Come Forward has a big consortium encompassing 22 partners from 11 different European countries, but Call It Hate brings together even more organizations – comments Giacomo Viggiani – This will help us reach more meaningful results.

Hate crimes targeting people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity remains a problem in all EU countries. In 2013, FRA examined experiences with hate crime and harassment of over 93.000 LGBT people across Europe. The findings demonstrate that in the five years preceding the survey, more than a quarter (26%) of all respondents had been attacked or threatened with violence. This figure rises to 35% among transgender respondents. A majority of those who had experienced violence (59%) reported that the attack or threat of violence happened because they were perceived to be LGBT. At the same time, very few victims – an average of 17% in the EU – report crimes to the police.

The low level of reporting of anti-LGBT hate incidents is a major reason why violence against sexual minorities remains invisible in the public eye. This can set in motion a vicious circle of poor service delivery to hate crime victims as authorities might argue that the problem is not significant enough for them to invest resources in appropriate responses. This new project aims at enabling victims and potential victims to call this violence with its name: hate- affirmed Godzisz.

Press contacts: University of Brescia: Giacomo Viggiani – giacomo.viggiani@unibs.it 
Lambda Warsaw: Piotr Godzisz – pgodzisz@lambdawarszawa.org