France Sees Alarming Increase In Anti-LGBT+ Hate Crime

Recent data shows that violence against the LGBT+ community has risen by 15%.

Image of protestors in France rallying against the recent increase in hate crime.

A number of LGBT+ rights activists in France have called for government action following an alarming increase in the number of anti-LGBT+ violence in the country. In the past month alone, there have been three homophobic attacks on the streets of Paris.

Statistics suggest that there has been a 15% increase in violent crimes against members of the French LGBT+ community since the start of the year. Another study estimates that a homophobic assault takes place once every three days in the country.

Just last week a gay man was abducted and brutally beaten up by two men in the city of Rouen in Normandy. The man was leaving a nightclub when two men locked him in a car and beat him up for two hours. They then forced him to withdraw €1500 from a bank account, but he was refused by the teller.

Last month, the president of an LGBT+ charity, Urgence Homophobie, was himself the victim of a hate crime. Guillaume Mélanie suffered a broken nose after he was attacked leaving a restaurant.

Another gay man, Arnaud Gagnoud was attacked by a group of teenagers outside a cinema after he hugged his boyfriend. Gagnoud sustained a black eye and required seven stitches following the attack.

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Je savais qu'un jour ça m'arriverait. Une agression homophobe violente en pleine rue. Je savais qu'un jour je devrais faire ce choix : prendre une photo et la publier ou ne pas la publier. Avec les conséquences que cela aura dans les deux cas. Je ne savais juste pas quand cela aurait lieu. C'est donc aujourd'hui. — Hier soir, avec mon copain, nous sommes allés voir jouer une amie et collègue comédienne dans un petit théâtre du 20ème arrondissement de Paris. Alors que nous sortions prendre l'air et attendre notre amie, nous avons eu le malheur, en discutant, de nous serrer dans les bras. Un câlin. Juste un câlin. Il était 22h00. Un groupe de trois jeunes, postés à une vingtaine de mètres, nous a vus. Ils nous ont interpellés. Comme nous les avons ignorés, ils se sont rapprochés. Un flot d'insultes homophobes sortait de leurs bouches. Ils exigeaient que nous quittions "leur quartier" où "y a pas de PD ici". Comme nous avons refusé de partir, les insultes sont devenues plus graves, plus haineuses. Puis un quatrième les a rejoints. Un gamin qui paraît avoir douze ans. Et c'est lui qui a appelé des renforts. Un scooter avec notre cinquième et sixième agresseurs. Insultes, bousculades, menaces. On ne cède pas. Le chauffeur du scooter détache son casque, le retire, et me frappe avec. Deux coups portés à la tête. Tout va très vite. Les spectateurs du théâtre voient la scène, arrivent en courrant, les font partir et nous mettent à l'abri. Mon copain n'a rien, fort heureusement. Pour moi un traumatisme facial, avec ecchymose et oedeme periorbitaire. 7 points de sutures et plusieurs jours d'ITT. — Voilà. Nous avons fait le choix de partager cette photo et notre histoire. Nous avons fait le choix de porter plainte. Pour que ces violences cessent enfin, même si nous ne nous faisons pas d'illusions…

A post shared by Arnaud Gagnoud (@arnaudgagnoud) on

Clémence Zamora-Cruz, a spokesperson for Inter-LGBT, a rights group in France spoke about the recent increase in attacks.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. On the ground, many attacks go unreported. Often, victims don’t complain for fear of reprisals, or because they’re afraid of speaking to police officers who aren’t aware of issues relating to LGBT identity. They’re scared of not being listened to.”

Another French LGBT+ advocacy group, Stop Homophobie, has also noticed an increase in reported hate crimes.

“We’ve received 8000 complaints in 2017, and then another 9400 since the start of 2018, even though – of course – we haven’t finished the year yet.”

French president Emmanuel Macron has condemned the recent violence against LGBT+ people, saying:

“Homophobic violence must be a concern for our entire society. They [the perpetrators] are unworthy of France. Concrete measures will be announced but cannot replace the humanity and tolerance that is at the heart of our culture.”

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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