If you’ve experienced a hate crime, then how you move forward is up to you. The answers won’t be the same for every person or every situation.

There is one piece of universal advice, however: if you’re in immediate danger then you should call 999 and ask for the police.

After it happens

Our memories are imperfect so writing down details of an incident can help keep them safe. Details like where it happened, what time, and what the person looked like are all important. If the incident is ongoing, like a situation involving a colleague or someone who lives nearby, then detailed notes are helpful: when is it happening? What exactly is being said? 

If you’ve experienced injury as a result of any incident, make sure to take a photo of your injuries as this may be used as evidence later.

It’s also extremely important to take care of your immediate needs. If you’re shaken and need to sit down and relax, then do it. If you’re feeling unsafe, then head to somewhere you know you’ll feel secure. 

Should I tell someone?

This is up to you. Many people find talking to friends and family about an incident can help. There are also organisations where you can talk anonymously and confidentially about your experience, and who can help you receive advice and support.

If you want to talk to an LGBTQ+ person on the phone, then helpline services from Switchboard and LGBT Foundation can give you space to talk about your experience, or something else entirely - it’s about what you need. The OutLife Forums are also a great place to talk to other LGBTQ+ people and decompress. Be kind to yourself. Hate crimes can be extremely emotionally taxing and it’s important to give yourself the time and space to recover, however long that may be.

Should I report it to the police?

Once again, this is completely up to you. Reporting is an important tool that can help tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that goes beyond securing justice for the original incident. The more informed the authorities are about incidents of anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime, the greater the case for tackling them, and the more targeted resources can be directed at their cause.

Many people choose not to report their incident to the police, and this is OK too. Only you can know what’s right for you. If you’re worried about the process of reporting and would like to talk about it, Galop can provide advice on the process, and even make the report anonymously. 

Details for reporting to the police:

In an emergency: Dial 999

In a non-emergency: Dial 101

Online: True Vision www.report-it.org.uk

Self Evident (Police reporting app): www.witnessconfident.org/self-evident-app

On Public Transport: 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016

Anonymously: Crimestoppers 0800 555 111