More LGBT Jamaicans Reporting Homophobic Violence to Police

While many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Jamaicans continue to experience anti-gay harassment, discrimination and violence, more of them are beginning to report these incidents to the police.

According to Dane Lewis, J-FLAG’s executive director, “Almost half of the sixty-three reports to the organisation from LGBT people last year were reported to the police. This is a significant increase compared to 2012.”
The reports related to physical attacks, threats and intimidation, blackmail, sexual violence, discrimination, displacement and murder. Half of these incidents occurred in Kingston & St Andrew and St James. St Catherine, Clarendon and Manchester account for a significant portion of the remaining 50 per cent.
J-FLAG is however cautioning that the number of reports are hardly representative and more sensitization and capacity building ought to be done with the police around human rights, especially in relation to their Diversity Policy.
“More work needs to be done with the police. However, we continue to benefit from an improved working relationship with them year after year. Notably, we have seen where the police on several occasions have served and protected LGBT people from angry mobs. In some cases, they call to alert us with information about incidents that have happened or refer persons to us,” Lewis said.

“We must also be mindful that these reports to J-FLAG or the police do not represent every incident of violence or discrimination against LGBT Jamaicans. Many are unreported because Jamaica is still a difficult place for LGBT people to live. Many LGBT people, who are harassed, discriminated against or attacked often fear further persecution and their sexual orientation or gender identity becoming public.”  
Dane Lewis – 875 2328
J-FLAG logo
The J-FLAG logo includes the colors of the Jamaican flag.

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