General News

France sees surge in anti-LGBTQ+ violence

Rachel Badham May 18, 2021

During Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, France saw an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ violence within families, as an increasing number of young queer people were made homeless as a result of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. In commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (May 17), Matthieu Gatipon-Bachette, a spokesperson for the Inter-LGBT Association, told France 24: “There have never been so many domestic violence situations to deal with.” 

While 1,590 anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes were recorded in France in 2020, compared to 1,870 in 2019, the interior ministry said these figures are likely to be misleading as the majority of incidents go unreported. Gatipon-Bachette said the pandemic increased rates of violence: “With the various lockdowns, they found themselves alone and some were confronted with violent reactions when their sexual orientation came out. Others were even thrown out of their homes by their families.”

Clémence Zamora-Cruz, a member of the Au-delà Du Genre trans support group, added: “During the lockdown, young people called on us to mediate with their families and we had a few cases of children being chased out of their homes. We managed to get them to safety, but it was very difficult.” They said domestic violence often gets left out of hate crime reports, meaning there are likely many cases that went unreported in 2020.