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Nurses have ‘vital role’ in supporting victims of hate crime

Nurses have a critical role in supporting their LGBTQ+ patients who are victims of hate crimes, but must have access to resources and training, according to members speaking at RCN Congress in Brighton

During the session, members gave moving accounts about their experiences treating the victims of hate crimes and the ongoing challenges their LGBTQ+ patients and colleagues face. One member spoke about the rampant homophobia and abuse faced by their patient when they were discharged to a care home. Another spoke about how a patient repeatedly refused to be treated by a transitioning colleague. Many speakers called on members to call out unacceptable behaviour from their patients or their own colleagues.

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‘The increase in LGBTQ+ hate crimes is deeply alarming but sadly is the reality faced by the UK’s LGBTQ+ community.’

‘The victims of homophobic or transphobic hate crimes are loved ones, colleagues, families, friends, and neighbours who may disclose their lived experiences to members of the nursing team when they are seeking care and treatment,’ said RCN Diversity and Equalities Co-ordinator, Bruno Daniel.

The latest reporting from the Home Office shows that there are now over 500 cases of hate crimes based on sexual orientation in England and Wales every week. Of the 26,152 recorded hate crimes in the last year, just under half were categorised as violent offences, including ‘with injury’ and ‘stalking and harassment’.

‘Nursing staff play a vital role - to treat those victims with compassion, ensure they can access vital specialist services and support, and support them to achieve justice,’ added Mr Daniel.

‘Nursing teams must have the skills and knowledge they need to provide the very best care and support.’