Almost half of Italian LGBT students have been victims of gay hate and almost one in 10 have been physically attacked.
That's the result of a new survey of high school students conducted by Gay.it and Demoskopea.
More than 2,000 students were interviewed. Of those reporting acts of homophobia, 77% reported verbal offences, a quarter have been bullied and 9% reported physical assaults.
According to the interviewees, 90% of them have been discriminated against by their school-mates, and 15% by their teachers.
More than 85% of teachers, even though they are aware of episodes of gay hate, did not react properly and did not punish the homophobic students, the survey claims.
Only 7% of the students came out at school. But many more are called ‘gay’ because of their different tastes and behaviors.
More than 70% say that Italy is a ‘homophobic country’ although more than 40% think the situation is getting better. And nine out of 10 of the interviewees don’t trust Italian politicians.
The survey did not reveal a difference between the south and the north of the country. There’s no geographic divide and the level of discrimination is widespread.
Finally, 60% of the interviewees would never walk hand-in-hand with their partners.