- More than a quarter of the attacks involved physical or sexual violence.
Homophobic and transphobic hate crime has risen by 36% in France last year, according to police figures.
The new stats show a total of 1,870 victims of homophobic or transphobic crimes who went to the police in 2019.
However, LGBT+ hate crime charity SOS Homophobie says the real numbers are higher as many victims don’t come forward.
Exactly three quarters of victims in the police figures were men and nearly two thirds (62%) were under 35-years-old.
While insults made up 33% of the cases, another 28% included physical violence or sexual attacks.
It’s a further rise from 2018, which saw 1,380 cases. When those figures came out last year, experts described 2018 as a particularly bad year with previously unequalled physical violence towards LGBT+ people.
Attacks on trans people up by 130%
Meanwhile SOS Homophobie’s own report also came out this week.
The charity handled 2,396 cases in 2019, up from 1,905 in 2018. This, it added, means cases have doubled since the organization launched its first report in 2013.
In particular, there was an ‘alarming increase’ of 130% in physical attacks against trans people last year.
Last week research from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) indicated French LGBT+ people are significantly more likely to fear violence.
The FRA research found that 60% of LGBT+ EU citizens, including British people, always or often avoided holding a same-sex partner’s hand in public because they feared someone would assault, threaten or harass them.
However, in France that figure is significantly higher at 72%. That’s far higher than in comparable countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Sweden.
Moreover, 14% of LGBT+ French people said they’d suffered a physical or sexual attack due to being LGBT+ in the past five years. Again, that is above the EU average of 11%.
‘Deep anchoring of homophobia and transphobia in society’
Responding to the police figures, France’s interior ministry said they were ‘part of a larger context of increasing hate acts and identity extremism’.
In a statement it added: ‘These figures testify to the deep anchoring of homophobia and transphobia in society.’
This includes French football which saw a rise in homophobia in stadiums last year.
In August, a referee stopped a game for 10 minutes between Nice and Marseille. Soccer fans had unrolled homophobic banners and made anti-gay chants. There were also similar incidents including fans from Nîmes, Metz and Paris Saint-Germain.