Come Forward

Across the European Union, LGBTI people face discrimination and violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics. Most incidents are not reported which impedes the possibility to investigate hate crimes and prosecute offenders. The lack of reports renders the problem of anti-LGBTI hate crimes invisible to the public and may prevent authorities from acknowledging and addressing the problem. As a result, victims often suffer in silence and their rights may not be fully respected.
By reviewing the legal and policy frameworks and analyzing the institutional deficiencies in reporting and recording anti-LGBTI hate crime and access to victim support in ten EU countries, the report Running through Hurdles: Obstacles in the Access to Justice for Victims of Anti-LGBTI Hate Crimes sheds much needed light on the obstacles to the accessing justice faced by victims of anti-LGBTI hate crimes in the EU. Specifically, the report responds to the following key questions: (1) Why is the number of reported anti-LGBTI crimes in Europe so low? (2) What are the barriers to reporting? (3) How are victims’ rights protected? (4) What do states do to encourage victims and witnesses to come forward? (5) How are police, NGOs and support services prepared to deal with anti-LGBTI hate crimes? (6) What regional differences in the response to anti-LGBTI hate crime can be observed?
The research presents data from 10 EU countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom.

This publication was produced as part of the project Come Forward: Empowering and Supporting Victims of Anti-LGBT Hate Crimes, co-funded by the REC Programme (2014 – 2020) of the EU.

The report for Bulgaria could be downloaded here

The full report is accessible here