Rainbow Report on Violence

James Sherriff http://www.flickr.com/photos/by-james

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Gays, lesbians and trans folk come under attack simply because of who they are. There are many ways to tackle this: the human rights commission has a new initiative, the anti-violence project works on it continually, and there are laws meant to protect us from hate speech and crime.

But do hate crime laws work?  Some people think they’re a bad thing: why should someone who assaulted one of us get a stiffer sentence because they were motivated by prejudice? If you criminalise motive, isn’t that criminalising thought – a rather Orwellian notion? And are anti-vilification laws an unfair restriction of free speech?

Greg Adkins leads the Anti-Violence Project: how bad is the problem currently being experienced in Victoria and what is  the project is doing about them?

And what does violence do to us when we’re the victim? How about when it’s from one of our own – or within a relationship? Psychologist Paul Martin of the Centre for Human Potential  has written extensively about the problems of abusive relationships and recovering from traumas..

Co-hosting with me in the studio is Joy’s own newshound Rod Swift.

Have you ever been attacked, verbally, or physically? What happened? How did you deal with it? Are hate crime/speech laws a good thing, or do you see them as trying to criminalise thought?  Got any questions? Let me know: post on The Rainbow Reporter Facebook page, tweet @rainbowreporter, or send an email to rainbowreport@joy.org.au [click for full address].

Listen every Thursday 1900hrs AEDST in Melbourne, Australia, on Joy 94.9, stream us live via the web or via the free smartphone app. Details at the Joy 94.9 website.

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About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)