|Approach Toward Violence Needs to Change and Improve|
by Redaktie in General , 22 April 2018
Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
The approach toward violence against LGBTIs needs to change and improve – It is time for a turnaround. This was the appeal made by Tanje Ineke, COC president of the Dutch gay interest organisation, in a discussion with the Dutch Minister for Justice and Security, Grapperhaus. The COC president was cautiously optimistic about the outcome.
“We want less violence and more convictions for the perpetrators”. This was Ineke's message to Minister Grapperhaus. Ineke pointed out that hundreds of thousands of LGBTIs in the Netherlands are confronted with discrimination and violence, but the justice system only convicts around ten perpetrators a year, often with a small fine or short community service sentence.
The police only send around a quarter of the discrimination charges to the Public Prosecutors Office, who then, contrary to regulations, neglect to impose higher sentences for LGBTI discrimination cases.
The COC asked the Minister to make anti-LGBTI violence a top priority for the cabinet to present a plan of action. According to the COC, a plan of action should contain, among other things, that legal sentences for discrimination are increased, that the police should always look into discrimination cases and that the Public Prosecutor (PP) should always demand a higher sentence. Training programmes for police officers and Public Prosecutors should make tackling discrimination issues mandatory.
According to Ineke, the best way to prevent violence and discrimination towards LGBTIs is with more focus on acceptance, for example, in schools. “But in cases where violence does occur, the Minister, the police and the PP must take a much firmer stance.”
At the end of discussions, COC president Ineke was cautiously optimistic about the outcome of the talks with the Minister. Grapperhaus pledged that tackling anti-LGBTI violence would be one of the cabinets top priorities and that a plan of action would be presented. Grapperhaus will look into how punishment for discrimination can be increased and wants more focus on discrimination in training programmes for police officers and Public Prosecutors.
“We will only be satisfied when a concrete plan of action is presented and the incidents of violence decrease”, Ineke said after conclusion of the talks.
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