Fresh calls for introduction of hate crime legislation to further protect LGBT people

Almost half of gay and bisexual survivors of sexual abuse take more than 10 years to report it, a new report has found

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Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and Elaine Mears, RONI Data and Services info Manager. Image: RollingNews.ie

There are calls for the introduction of hate crime legislation in Ireland to further protect LGBT people.

A new report shows LGBT victims of sexual abuse can take twice as long as straight people to report the crime.

The study found that 47% of 'LGB survivors' waited over ten years to report the abuse - compared with 21% of heterosexual survivors who took the same length of time to report.

They also rely far more on friends and partners for support instead of family members, the report found.

The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) say this suggests isolation among the LGBT community.

The study of gay people attending Rape Crisis Centres also revealed that all lesbian and bisexual women who became pregnant by rape terminated the pregnancy.

The Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said sexual abuse among the gay community is under reported and under punished.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Minister Zappone said: "Not unlike other things that are going on for LGBT people, it's just demonstrating that we are normal, we are part of the population.

"What happens to us, and what we need to do about it... we need to behave as if we are like everyone else, and go and find that safe place."

Cliona Sadlier is Director of the RCNI, and says hate crime legislation is needed, along with tailored support services.