On 28th of July, 2023, LGL organized intersectional discussion on hate crime victim support with the cooperation of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania.
A group of experts discussed the challenges of providing support to victims of hate crimes and the opportunities for improving the system of providing assistance. The meeting focused on the current situation of hate crimes in Lithuania and the main challenges for an effective response to hate crimes at national level as well as existing good practises in other European Union member states.
Experts highlighted that hate crimes in Lithuania are very often not properly identified and assessed, which contributes to the secondary victimisation of victims and discourages them from seeking help and well as contributing to the underreporting of hate incidents.
According to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), millions of people across Europe are subjected to violence and harassment on the basis of their skin colour, religion, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status and disability, yet as many as nine out of ten hate crimes go unreported to law enforcement authorities.
Examples of good practices in providing assistance to victims of hate crimes were also shared during the meeting, and the possibilities of applying these practices in Lithuania were discussed.
Representatives of Lithuanian Gay League, Trans Autonomija, Lithuanian Psychologist Union, Seimas Ombudsperson Office, Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson Office and LGBTIQ community member and entrepreneur Mantas Mackevičius who initiated proceedings against MP Petras Gražulis due to Parlamentarian’s extreme homophobic hate speech, shared their valuable insights during the event.