Hate comes in many forms
Hate crimes are not only violent acts. They can include incidents such as verbal abuse, hate speech, damage to property, theft, bullying and intimidation that specifically target LGBTI people for who they are.
According to a new Love Not Hate survey of LGBTI South Africans, in the last 24 months:
- 39% of us have been victims of verbal abuse
- 20% of us have been threatened with physical violence
- 17% of us have been chased or followed
- 9% of us have had personal property or possessions damaged or destroyed
Your health is your right
Health care is a human right, regardless of your sex, gender identity, sexuality, appearance or any other factor.
- It may be important to be open with health care workers about your sexuality, gender identity or sexual activity as this may affect your treatment.
- You are entitled to be treated with dignity, respect and caring by health care workers at all times.
- You must receive equal service without being judged, embarrassed or being looked down upon by health care workers.
- Health care workers must always honour your privacy and are not allowed to share any of your personal information with anyone.
- Health care workers cannot use their religious views, traditions, culture, personal values or morals to discriminate against you.
- Your health is your most important asset: Do not let fear stop you from seeking treatment, advice or help.
If you do not receive acceptable health care services or are turned away because of your sexuality or gender identity, demand to speak to a superior. You can also contact one of the Love Not Hate partners for advice and support.
You shouldn’t have to hide in public
Being yourself should not be not limited to just your home or private spaces.
- You are entitled to show affection (kiss, hold hands) in public (like malls, the street, restaurants etc…)
- You have the right to dress like yourself, reflecting your identity, in public.
- You must receive equal service regardless of your sexuality or gender identity – it’s the law.
- You have the right to complain and expect better if you are discriminated against in a public space in any way.
- While you have these rights and should stand up for them, also be aware of your safety.
Don’t let LGBT bullying destroy young lives
Bullying of LGBT youth by pupils and teachers is on the rise in South Africa. It should never be accepted or tolerated. Every young person has the right to education without fear or abuse – no matter who they are, what they look like, or what they wear.
Here are some tips that could be useful if you are being bullied at school.
- Don’t let bullies affect your self-worth. There is nothing wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or different. The problem lies with others and their ignorance.
- You have a constitutional right to be who you are and no-one should insult you, tease you, threaten you, scare you or physically hurt or intimidate you because of this.
- Rather try to walk away or use humour to get out of the situation. Arguing or responding physically will rarely help and could make matters worse.
- Try to make friends with others who will accept you, support you and who you can hang out with. Bullies rarely target groups.
- Tell an adult – like a parent, family member or friend or teacher – who you trust about the bullying. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- If your teachers or school officials are bullying you, tell your parents or contact one of the Love Not Hate organisations for advice and support.
- You have the right to wear whatever version of your school uniform you feel comfortable in, no matter if it was meant for boys or girls.
- Don’t give up hope. Remember that your time at school will come to an end and things will get better. Your aim is to get an education that will allow you to be successful and in control of your life.
LGBTI refugees have rights too
Refugees, including those who’ve fled their home country because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to policing, basic health and education services in South Africa.
- Refugees have the right to report a crime to the police;
- If you are arrested, you have the right to not be verbally or physically abused or be forced to pay a bribe;
- Refugees have the right to basic healthcare in public hospitals;
- Children of refugees between the ages of 5 and 15 have the right to education;
- If you need advice or support contact PASSOP on 021 418 2838
What is a hate crime?
Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)?
Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
Here’s how a hate crime is officially defined:
- It is an act considered a crime under South African law (such as intimidation, hate speech, arson, damage to property, assault, rape or murder);
- The act is motivated in whole or in part by prejudice or hatred regarding an aspect of the victim’s identity or perceived identity – such as their sexual orientation or gender identity.
If you have been a victim of an LGBTI hate crime, let us know. We can help.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
If you have been the victim of a hate crime, you have the right to seek justice.
- You have the right to report the incident to the police.
- The police cannot refuse to serve or help you or turn you away because you are LGBTI.
- After reporting the incident, the police must provide you with a case number and contact person.
- If you were the victim of sexual assault, such as rape, you have the right to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (drugs that reduce your chance of contracting HIV) and the right to a medical examination.
- If the police or health services refuse to assist you or do not treat you with dignity and respect, contact one of the Love Not Hate partners or e-mail us directly.
- If you are too afraid to report the crime on your own, contact one of the Love Not Hate partners and they will assist you with reporting the case to the police. (If you are not comfortable with reporting the crime to the police, Love Not Hate will simply keep a record of the crime.)
What should I do if I am raped?
Rape can happen to a woman or a man, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is defined as the sexual penetration of a person’s anus, mouth or genitals (by another person’s body part/s or any other items) without their consent.
If you are raped you should:
- Find safety as soon as possible.
- Do not wash yourself as you may wash away vital evidence.
- If you are injured, get to a clinic or hospital and demand a report for the police.
- We urge you to report the attack to the police (who must treat your with respect).
- If you have not been to a clinic before going to the police, they must refer you to a health care provider who will provide a report.
- You have the right to request free PEP (anti-HIV medication), which must be taken within 72 hours of the rape.
- You can also take a morning after pill to prevent pregnancy and antibiotics to prevent an STI (sexually transmitted infection).
If you do not wish to report your rape to the police, or if the police or health services refuse to assist you or do not treat you with dignity and respect, contact one of the Love Not Hate partners or e-mail us directly.
Words have consequences
LGBTI hate speech is when someone says, writes or communicates something that attacks gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Hate speech can include derogatory and discriminatory terms and may make you feel afraid and threatened and/or deprives you of your dignity because of your sexuality or gender identity.
LGBTI hate speech is illegal in South Africa if:
- it promotes harm towards you or LGBTI people
- it promotes hatred towards you or LGBTI people
- it promotes violence towards you or LGBTI people
If you have been the victim of hate speech or discrimination you can lodge a case with an Equality Court in your area. It is free and you do not need a lawyer.
Contact the nearest Magistrates’ Court and ask for the Equality Court. A clerk will give you a Form 2 to complete and to lodge a complaint. For more information, visit www.justice.gov.za/EQCact/eqc_main.html.
You can also file a complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission on their website at www.sahrc.org.za.
[You can also find more information on the Asiphephe website.]