Surge in anti-LGBTIQ attacks in Germany

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Photo: Krytofr/Flickr

Police in Germany have reported a sharp spike in anti-LGBTIQ attacks across the country.

According to DW, there were 261 incidents of homophobic violence in Berlin in the first nine months of 2019 alone. This is an increase from 2018 which saw 184 attacks for the whole year.

The report also said the incidents varied from physical attacks to verbal insults and slurs.

German politician Doris Achelwilm said the findings reflect the country’s ongoing minority social problems.

“The increase in violence is not a coincidence,” she said about the report.

“It emerges from a social climate that puts minorities under renewed pressure.

“It is…important…to strengthen the way relevant police authorities deal with hate crime and to offer more in terms of victim protection, violence prevention and awareness,” she said.

Additionally, majority of attacks occur in the city’s centre where LGBTIQ populations are most prevalent.

Other high LGBTIQ areas include Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Schöneberg. They also reported a spike in violence.

There has also been an increase in targeted LGBTIQ property damage in Germany.

Not all LGBTIQ attacks reported

But these findings might not be an accurate indication of just how many homophobic attacks occur.

Spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Association Helmut Metzner said the data only represents some of the discrimination because many incidents go unreported.

“Effective measures for prevention, recording crimes and prosecution must be introduced,” he said.

“Facilities for victims must be adequately supported,” he added.

Germany to ban conversion therapy for minors

Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn recently unveiled a draft law to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’ on children under minors.

They said aversion therapies are dangerous and misleading.

“Homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore, even the term ‘therapy’ is misleading,” Spahn told Reuters.

“A ban is also an important social signal to anyone who struggles with their homosexuality: you are okay the way you are.”

The law is only a draft, however, and its outcome likely won’t be determined until next year.

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