Written By: Jennifer Kloesel, Information and Referral Specialist
June is Pride Month and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that acted as a catalyst for the gay rights movement. Though we have made great progress in these past 50 years, statistics show that we, as a country, still have more to learn about tolerance.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released the hate crime statistics for 2017 and based off of their data, hate crimes have increased by 17% from 2016. 2017 saw over 7,000 reported hate crimes and it is estimated that the number of unreported crimes were just as significant. About a thousand of those reported crimes were due to sexual orientation, which is a 5% increase from the preceding year.
Research conducted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation stated that 54% of LGBTQ people say they are concerned about being the victim of a hate crime. However, most Americans do not share this same fear, with less than 10% of the general population worrying about being a victim of a hate crime.
These numbers are not only troubling for the LGBTQ community, but for our nation as well. Education and awareness are the first steps in putting an end to hate crimes (of all types). For this year’s Pride Month, read more about how Pride Month came to be and how you can help support the cause!
If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of a hate crime, know that there are resources available to you. Please contact the Washington State Crime Victim Service Center Hotline at 888-288-9221 for help.