On October 11, 2021, Roze in Blauw Rotterdam was in the news via NU.nl because they found that both in terms of number of incidents and intensity, LGBT+ violence has increased in recent years. For me, this was reason enough to talk to the police again, as they had previously told me that the police did not keep any figures on this. How this all works and how we can tackle together the LGBT+ violence in our society that's what I like to elaborate on.
International LGBT+ violence
For my perception, LGBT+ violence has increased in recent years. Both on a national and international scale, I experience that there is a lot of tension and sometimes aggression. Here are a few examples from the recent times:
- Trump passes several laws restricting LGBT freedoms (America).
- Poland establishes LGBT+ free zones.
- Hungary extends a law to prohibit education about and depiction of homosexuality and transgender in media and schools.
- European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights presented a report with the results of a survey involving 140,000 LGBT+ people in the European Union. It showed that little progress had been made in the past seven years.
- In the Netherlands, a gay couple was beaten up because of their sexuality, yet the judge believes that this was not LGBT+ violence.
- But also within my work as a soldier I notice that the enormous white heterosexual culture is still "the norm" when it comes to manners and what one can and cannot do. The jokes towards minorities take place continuously, only more behind closed doors where people repeatedly seem to forget that I am gay...
In early 2021, I got into a discussion where someone asked me on what basis I believed there was increasing violence against the rainbow community. And quite frankly, it got me thinking.... because I myself only came "out of the closet" in 2016 and that's when my network within the rainbow community grew tremendously.
Rotterdam police see anti-gay violence growing in intensity
Did I see this increase in violence now because I was paying attention to it, or just because I was more influenced by my network and the reports through social media ? I decided to dive into this and started looking for data to show a trend. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be so easy. After several mail exchanges and conversations with the National Police, the Public Prosecutor, Roze in Blauw Amsterdam, COC, CBS, but also the largest political parties VVD and D66 (who make the policy) no one appeared to have figures in which a clear trend was visible.
The only place where data on this subject are collected is on the website discriminatie.nl. The method of collection is sometimes in percentages, other times in hard figures and each time a different explanation is given as to why the figures are as they are. However, a clear structure of figures and thus trends can not be retrieved.
How LGBT+ violence figures can solve the problem
Perhaps the easiest example of the importance of numbers is COVID. While nobody actually knows what the best choice is and how to deal with a pandemic, decisions are made based on numbers. A good example is the sudden decision to have a lockdown at the end of 2021 because the numbers from England regarding OMIKRON variant indicated a need for this.
When it comes to the figures of LGBT+ violence, something remarkable can be observed. It seems that these figures are not that important at all in the Netherlands. Or at least it is noted that little care is taken when it comes to registering them.
However, if we think there is a problem, then figures are necessary to establish this. On the basis of these figures we can then establish a trend, but also identify the possible cause or causes of it. Only then do we know where to look for possible solutions and their feasibility. After all, change requires an investment in time and money, so we have to look for the biggest gains.
This is the end of the first part where we look for answers around the topic of LGBT+ violence.
Are you curious how the National Police solved the LGBT+ violence numerically, how volunteers of Pink in Blue collect numbers and how you can easily contribute to a solution? Then keep following our search and support us in the mission for a safer society.