Belong To Statement regarding Assault on School Student
Belong To is horrified about a serious assault which took place on Monday of this week and led to a student being treated in hospital. We send our thoughts to the young person injured and their loved ones, and wish them a full recovery.
We know from 2022 research that 76% of LGBTQ+ students feel unsafe in our post-primary schools.*
This is not good enough.
We must prioritise the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth who are seriously at risk.
The rise in anti-LGBTQ+ violence we have witnessed across Ireland over the past 18 months is deeply distressing.
We know that members of our community feel increasingly unsafe in public spaces and that Gardaí saw a 29% increase in reports of hate crimes and hate-related incidents last year.
These feelings of unsafety and uncertainty stand in stark contrast with the jubilance of 2015 as we welcomed Marriage Equality.
At Belong To, we are continuing our work to create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in our schools, homes, and communities.
Schools across the country are doing incredible work supporting their LGBTQ+ students, but they cannot do this alone. We urgently need hate crime and hate speech legislation to be introduced to send a clear message that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is not acceptable, and a clear roadmap from Government on how to tackle the rise in discrimination and hate targeting minority communities.
Our Youth Workers are here for LGBTQ+ young people who are worried, distressed or overwhelmed by these events, visit www.belongto.org to get in touch.
*Pizmony-Levy, O. (2022) The 2022 Irish School Climate Survey. Research Report. Global Observatory of LGBTQ+ Education and Advocacy. Dublin and New York: Belong To and Teachers College, Columbia University.