TORONTO: Today’s release by Statistics Canada of the 2010 police-reported hate crime data confirms that violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community continues to be the most severe of all forms of hate crime in Canada.
“This report comes as no surprise,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. “While almost all other types of hate crime have decreased, targeting of the LGBT community continues unabated and the violence remains far more severe than that experienced by any other identifiable group in Canada.”
“While the most recent Statistics Canada report is upsetting,” Kennedy added, “we are encouraged by the fact that hate crimes against the LGBT community have begun to decline in areas where Egale Canada has delivered hate crime prevention training to police services and LGBT communities.”
Also upsetting is the fact that hate crime in Canada continues to be very much a youth phenomenon, as both victims and those accused are concentrated between the ages of 12 and 24. “Once again, this report highlights the need to bolster efforts across Canada to educate youth and foster inclusivity within our schools,” said Kennedy.
The report indicates that 16% of hate crimes in Canada in 2010 were motivated by sexual orientation, and 65% of those were violent in nature. By comparison, 34% of hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity were violent, and 17% of those motivated by religion were violent.
Egale Canada’s national Report Homophobic Violence, Period (RHVP) program focuses on crime-prevention strategies targeting bullying before it reaches the criminal threshold of a hate crime. RHVP also provides education and awareness to police, educators and community members regarding patterns of behavior which may lead to the commission of a hate crime. In the case of an offence, the program stresses the need to report hate-motivated incidents and offers a number of options to both victims and witnesses if they do not feel comfortable talking to police.
For more information:
416-270-1999/416-964-7887 ext. 21