How do I know if I’ve been a victim of a hate crime?

Sometimes it’s really obvious when someone has been homophobic or transphobic towards you, for example if there’s physical violence. But sometimes it’s less clear. For example, if you’re being harassed by a neighbour or someone uses ‘humour’ based on gender rules or sexuality as a put-down.

If you feel that someone has done or said something that’s motivated by prejudice or hate then it’s best to trust your instincts. Even if you’re not sure or just want to talk about it, you can ask Galop for help or advice.

Guidance from the police says that it is for you (as the victim or witness) to decide if you’ve experienced homophobia or transphobia and not for someone else to decide for you! You don’t have to feel responsible for knowing whether or not a crime has been committed against you before getting help.

People often contact Galop because they want advice about something homophobic or transphobic that’s happened to them. Sometimes they want to know more information about what areas of the law cover certain offences.

There is no simple explanation to these laws, but some experiences are more common than others. The examples given below are not exhaustive but cover some of the common forms of abuse.