Hate offences against LGBTQIA+ community are underreported, legislator says

Hate offences against LGBTQIA+ community are underreported, legislator says
Credit: Belga

Rainbow House Brussels, the platform of LGBTQIA+ organisations, has registered only five online reports this year about acts committed against the LGBTQIA+ community, according to parliamentarian Bianca Debaets. However, this does not reflect the real situation on the ground, she cautions.

The Christen Democratisch en Vlaams (CD&V) legislator said she had received the figures, upon request, from the Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities, Nawal Ben Hamou.

“LGBTQIA+ people walking around Brussels know unfortunately that these figures do not correspond” to reality, Debaets commented. “The Secretary of State herself admits that the number of reports is low. It is a big understatement.”

No indication that conversion therapy may have been carried out

After an evaluation with Rainbow House, a new awareness campaign and a plan for a better network have been worked out. “This is positive, and absolutely necessary,” Bianca Debaets said.

“We must continue to work actively to minimise the barriers that prevent victims from reporting LGBTQIA+-phobic acts – as well as any other form of sexual violence or harassment,” she stressed.

According to the CD&V parliamentarian, there is no indication that conversion therapy for LGBTQIA+ people may have taken place in the Brussels Region.

“Both the police zones and the organisations concerned are not aware of these practices, but it is obviously difficult to estimate what sometimes happens behind closed doors,” she commented.

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