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Abuse in different forms is on the increase. / A.S.P.

LGBT hate crimes increased by 8% in Andalucía last year

Some 367 cases were reported in the region but experts say the true incidence is much higher because up to 70% of victims just keep quiet

Ivan Gelibter
IVAN GELIBTER

A gay man under the age of 30 and from a fairly densely-populated town or city. Once again, that is the main profile of a victim of LGBT hate crime in Andalucía, where the number of cases rose again last year. And those are just the cases which are reported, because the Andalusian Obervatory against LGBT-phobia says that up to 70% of victims just keep quiet. In other words, only three out of ten assaults of this type are reported.

In Andalucía last year 367 cases were reported and 279 people requested assistance, advice, support or wanted help in lodging an official complaint. This was 8% more than in 2020.

Nearly half of the victims (42%) were under 30 and only 11% were older than 50. For the Observatory, it is “very alarming” that young people are suffering the most violence, including many teenagers. Of all the incidents, nearly 20% (19) occurred in Malaga province, although the figures for Cadiz and Seville were similar. In fact, the study shows that many of the attacks took place in the most densely-populated towns and cities.

The report for 2021 also shows that several incidents often occurred at the same time, for example physical aggression is often accompanied by verbal abuse. Men also suffered more hate crime than women, according to the figures: 66% compared with 28%. Nearly 32% of victims were trans, which the Observatory says is “very low” bearing in mind the reality for trans people, who are normally those who suffer from clear discrimination, especially socially and in terms of employment.

This points to the fact that so many cases are going unreported. “In more than half of cases the victims don’t dare to report it because they are worried their families and friends will reject them, or out of shame of the fear of being attacked again,” says the report.

Types of aggression

The Observatory also noted that physical and traditional aggression against the LGBT community is gradually being replaced by a “more symbolic” violence, such as graffiti on LGBT monuments or opposition to the rainbow flag being flown on public buildings, and this is also on the increase. “But even so, we cannot forget that physical and verbal violence, harrassment and cyberbullying are continuing to feature strongly in hate incidents, only outstripped by verbal abuse,” it reports.