A new service offering dedicated support for members of the LGBTQI community who have been affected by hate crime will be unveiled today as the region marks International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Emily Spurrell will reveal the new specialist support service, which will be delivered by Citizens’ Advice Liverpool as part of the Commissioner’s Victim Care Merseyside service, during a keynote speech at the Navajo Merseyside and Cheshire Awards Ceremony.
On 17 May, 1990 the World Health Organisation finally removed homosexuality from its official list of mental disorders and IDAHOBIT has been celebrated on that date across the world ever since. The Navajo awards ceremony, which has been held on the same date for the last six years, recognises and celebrates companies which have shown their commitment to LGBTQI equality and diversity in the workplace.
The new support service will provide victims of LGBTQI hate crime with emotional support, practical assistance and help to cope and recover from a crime to move forward with their lives.
Liverpool CAB will also work to increase awareness and understanding of LGBTQI hate crime across Merseyside in close partnership with Merseyside Police, community organisations and LGBTQI charities and support groups.
Emily said: “We know that crimes motivated by hate can have particularly long-lasting and devastating repercussions on the lives of those who are targeted. We also know that victims can be particularly vulnerable and may feel isolated or excluded. They need and deserve specialist support which is tailored to their specific needs and which respects their identity.
“That’s why, through Victim Care Merseyside, we have created specialist services dedicated to supporting victims affected by different strands of hate crime.
“I’m delighted that, as we mark International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) at this fantastic awards ceremony, I am in a position to unveil this service which is specifically designed to help and support members of the LGBTQI community who have been targeted simply because of their sexuality or gender identity.
“The theme for IDAHOBIT in 2018 is ‘alliances for solidarity’ and an integral element of this new service is for Citizens’ Advice Liverpool to work with the police, our community safety partners and all organisations which support the LGBTQI community to build confidence, let people know they do not have to suffer alone and tackle hate crime together.”
The service is part of the wider package of support for victims of crime created by the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and delivered through Victim Care Merseyside. It also includes a dedicated support service for victims of racial hate crime delivered by the Anthony Walker Foundation and a service for victims of disability hate crime provided by Daisy UK.
All three of these services are supported by a pan-Merseyside independent hate crime reporting service delivered by national charity Stop Hate UK. The decision to fund this service was also unveiled at the Navajo Awards Ceremony on IDAHOBIT four years ago by the Commissioner.
Heather Brent, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Liverpool said: “Citizens Advice Liverpool welcome the opportunity to be part of this initiative supporting members of the LGB&T community who have been victims of hate crime and targeted simply because of their sexuality or gender identity.
“We have a long tradition of opposing all forms of discrimination including hate crimes. We will work with the LGB&T community and individuals to develop a service fit for purpose through co-production and ensure that our role in this partnership helps victims of crime to improve their health and wellbeing through practical and social support.”
The new LGBTQI support service can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or calling 0344 848 7700. If you’ve been a victim of crime, visit www.VictimCareMerseyside.org for advice, information and to find support services.