Physical Violence

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I’m a gay man who went out to my local gay pub. As I was leaving I was followed and jumped on by a group of youths shouting ‘f**king queer! I was able to identify one of the youths and the police arrested him. I’m not sure what he’ll be charged with.

Clearly, if you are a victim of a physical assault then an offence has been committed. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator can be charged with Common Assault, Actual Bodily Harm or Grievous Bodily Harm. If you think that the offence is wholly or partly motivated because of your sexuality or gender identity then you should make sure that the police (or other people you’ve told) are aware of this, as the incident should be investigated as a hate crime. For more information see Galop’s factsheet What to do Following an Incident.

A perpetrator charged and convicted with physically assault can receive a longer sentence if they’ve demonstrated hostility based on the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. For example if the perpetrator uses offensive language during the attack, or has specifically targeted someone because they are in or near an LGBT venue.