My boss doesn’t want to promote me because I am lesbian.

Colleagues at work are insulting me because I’m bisexual.

After it became known in the city that we were a gay couple, windows on our car were broken and on our house were written threatening messages.

The doctor refused to provide me with urgent medical help because I’m transgender.

They beat me up because I held hands with my girlfriend as we walked down town.

These are just some examples of discrimination and violence against LGBT (lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender) people. If this happened to you – get informed, report discrimination and violence and fight for your rights!

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is an unequal treatment of individuals or a group of people. This unequal treatment may occur due to the characteristics that people believe are common for people that they are identifying as a group: eg. race, sex, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression affects us every day in the workplace, at school, in the family home, with friends, at the doctor, in a store, on the street. Therefore, we often live in fear and isolation. Fear of environment rejection, fear of job loss, and fear of physical violence, often justified, accompany us in everyday life.

The right to a life free of discrimination, and the right to live without violence are among the basic human rights. The Republic of Croatia through its legislation recognized sexual orientation as one of the foundations for non-discrimination. Nevertheless, the basic human rights – the right to a life free of discrimination and the right to a life free of violence for LGBT people in the public and private spheres – are not achieved. The most drastic form of violation of the rights of LGBT people is physical violence that affects us on a daily basis, both on the street and in the parental home.

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is any criminal offense committed against an individual because of his / her sexual orientation or gender identity.

The right to live without discrimination and the right to live without violence are basic human rights. Recommendation of the Council of Europe CM / Rec (2010) 5 to member states about measures to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, provides that all member states should ensure effective, prompt and impartial investigation of hate crimes. The Republic of Croatia through its legislation introduced stricter penalties for hate crimes.

Offenses described in the Criminal Code, for which hate crime is introduced as qualified form:

Bodily injury, Article 117

Serious bodily injury, Article 118

Aggravated serious bodily injury, Article 119

Coercion, Article 138

Threat, Article 139

Serious offenses against sexual freedom, Article 154

Inciting riots, Article 324

Public incitement to violence and hatred, Article 325

Aggravated murder, Article 111

Female genital mutilation, Article 116

What can we do to prevent violence and discrimination?

• Stay informed and inform others about our rights and how to realize them;
• Advocate for a positive change in legislation in order to protect more effectively our human rights;
• Advocate for changes in practice of the police, the public prosecution service and the judiciary;
• If you experience violence or discrimination, use all the available systems for protection of your rights.

What can I do if someone attacks me?

1. Yell (eg. “The police are coming! ‘);
2. Try to run away, hide in a nearby cafe, shop, etc;
3. If there is no immediate danger of attack, promptly call the police on 112 or 192;
4. If you don’t succeed in running away, protect your head with hands;
5. You have the right to defend yourself from the physical attack;
6. Get emergency medical help at the number 112 or go immediately to the first ambulance service – it is important to seek medical help, even if you do not feel you are seriously injured. When internal injuries occur a person does not feel pain right away and if you do not get medical help in the short period of time, serious consequences can occur. Seeking medical attention is important because of the proceedings in court as well;
7. If you have already been a victim of a criminal offense committed out of hatred or, if there is a justified fear that they you could become a victim, contact the nearest police station with full confidence or call the police on 112 or 192;
8. Contact Kontra Legal Team for further assistance at number 098/238 308.

Who can I contact if I experience discrimination or violence?

Kontra provides free legal assistance and advice to LGBT people since 2002. On our initiative protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity were introduced into the anti-discrimination legislation and definition of hate crimes was introduced into the Criminal Code.

For all the information and assistance you can contact us over our Legal Team. We will be happy to inform you of your rights and engage one of our lawyers to give you help in the process. We can also take you to police station to report hate crime.

To report a hate crime, contact the Legal Team and the police by telephone or at the nearest police station.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are also citizens of this country. We have the right to use the laws of the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of our safety and protection!

LGBT Legal team Kontra
Tel: 098 238 308
E-mail: pravnitim@kontra.hr

Police
112