The new homophobic aggression website launched less than a month ago has already received almost 200 reports of anti-gay abuse. The site was created by Dutch gay magazine the Gay Krant.
The magazine’s editor-in-chief Henk Krol says there have been far more reports than he had expected. He says the National Ombudsman and the Public Prosecutor's Office (PPO) have both assured him of their support and cooperation. The PPO says all police forces in the Netherlands will be issued with guidelines to help them deal with homophobic bullying and violence.
According to recent research, many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) youth are bullied at school and some 300,000 adult LGBT people in the Netherlands are not open about their sexual orientation at work because they are afraid of bullying and homophobic abuse.
Suicide rates among LGBT youth are much higher than among their heterosexual counterparts and at least 50 percent have contemplated suicide. Some 25 percent of lesbian girls are believed to attempt suicide – five times the rate among heterosexual girls – and 12.5 percent of gay boys attempt suicide – twice the number of their heterosexual counterparts.
The Dutch LGBT rights and advocacy organisation COC has helped to start gay/straight alliances (GSAs) in Dutch schools order to tackle homophobia and improve acceptance of LGBT teens. Dutch GSAs are now in their second year and will hold their 2nd Purple Friday on 9 December. Students wear purple armbands and buttons to draw attention to homophobia.
A COC spokesperson said the GSAs are necessary because “at least half of LGBT pupils do not feel safe enough to come out at school and 50 percent of students say they have a problem with homosexuality.”
©Radio Netherlands Worldwide