The response and behaviour of its surroundings have a critical impact on victims of anti-LGBT hate crimes. The way people respond to the victim could lead to secondary victimization. “Secondary victimisation means the victimisation that occurs not as a direct result of the criminal act but through the response of institutions and individuals to the victim”. Secondary victimization can appear in many forms and preventing it is important for the victims recovery.
Examples that could lead to secondary vicitmization in LGBT cases
- No good understanding of LGBT terminology;
- Misgendering or deadnaming (using the old name of a transperson);
- Using the wrong pronouns;
- Not being sensitive to the fact whether someone has come out of the closet;
- Not addressing any LGBT-phobic attitudes or prejudicial views.
Examples that could lead to secondary vicitmization in general
A lack of a response, or an unhelpful and denigrating response;
- Attributing responsibility for the crime to victims, or claiming the culpability of the victim (victim-blaming);
- Minimizing the seriousness of a reported hate crime and trivializing the individual experience and consequences;
- Denying the victim’s perspective in the assessment and evaluation of the crime, not taking a bias motivation into consideration or dismissing it as irrelevant;
- Displaying negative attitudes or reinforcing the prejudices of the perpetrator, and treating the victim accordingly;
- Expressing sympathy and understanding for the perpetrator;
- Lacking appropriate knowledge, experience and skills to acknowledge the significance of the victim’s identity for the crime they suffered;
- A lack of consideration for individual needs, especially the need for information and justice;
- The denial of victims’ rights or victim status.