Hate crimes against GLBT people are occurring in the Invercargill region but are not necessarily being reported, says Invercargill's police diversity liaision officer Constable Eru Loach. "I've heard through the community these assaults do occur," he told the Southland Times. "They might take a black eye and accept that it's part and parcel (of being the way they are). It's terrible for people that they can't or choose not to step forward." Anyone on the receiving end of hate crime should get in touch with police, and feel confident about doing so, says Loach, who was assigned as diversity liaision officer for Invercargill a year ago. Invercargill police were very open and would deal with complaints fairly and equally. Invercargill's gay community is a lot larger than people think. "Because of the social stigma of being gay, lesbian, bisexual...it's not something that people come out and openly say," Loach says. "Being gay is not the issue but being publicly identified is often what's the issue."
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Sunday, 14th August 2005 - 12:00pm
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