TEL AVIV — (02-20-21) — LGBT hate crime cases have increased since the Coronavirus pandemic took over the nation in 2020 as one every three hours in 2020 were reported. An astounding 2,696 new incidents of LGBT hate and violence crimes against the LGBTQ community came to a staggering 27% increase compared to 2019.
The study was released in the annual report by the Nir Katz Center of the Agudah – The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel.
The center found that hate crime reports of incidents in and near victims’ homes increased over the social distancing restrictions forced upon the citizens of Israel, but it also showed an increase in the education system despite much of it operating virtually during the outbreak.
Some 28% of incidents reported in 2020 occurred within families and 25% of incidents reported took place in LGBTQ+ victims homes – three times the 8% reported in 2019.
As the pandemic raised tensions in many families, 315 youth were thrown out or felt pressured to leave their home due to harassment or prolonged abuse concerning their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s a huge 16% increase compared to 2019.
“LGBTQ-phobia does not disappear or diminish, but takes on a different form and adapts itself to the new reality to which we have become accustomed in the past year,” warned the report, adding that public figures used the pandemic as incitement against the LGBTQ+ community, with some rabbis blaming the community for the pandemic. The pandemic turned homes into “pressure cookers,” bringing LGBTQ-phobia into the home and neighborhood and reducing the safe spaces that may have existed before the outbreak.
“The ugly hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community has reached new heights this year as it gets legitimacy from the top officials in the country,” ,” said Ohad Hezki, director-general of the Agudah. “Hatred kills and injures the bodies and minds of thousands of young men and women who just want to be who they are. And you – the hatred – destroy the lives of thousands of LGBTQ+ people who want to live in security and dignity. While the governments of Israel have abandoned the LGBTQ+ community in granting basic rights and safeguarding our lives and security, hatred is rampant and elected officials from the diverse political spectrum must stop it – and soon,” said Hezki. “As a strong community, we will continue to fight LGBTQphobia until it is completely eradicated. We ask anyone who has experienced an incident of LGBTQphobia to contact us. Reporting can save lives.” said Hezki.
As far as demographics are concerned, 48% of the incidents were reported by lesbian and bisexual women – A 60% increase. 27% were by Gay and Bisexual men and about 25% were by transgender people.
The Agudah additionally reported a 26% increase in the number of women who applied for emotional assistance and support.
In the final demographic, 58% of the hate crime reports were by people aged 19-30, some 22% were by those 18 and under and about 14% were by 31-40 year old’s.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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