The CEO for a Welsh LGBT group is opening up about a frightening brush with homophobia from neighbors who repeatedly harassed him, even going so far as to murder his beloved cat and send him a sympathy card.
In an interview with BBC Wales, Unity Group Wales CEO Andrew Davies described the jarring experience to give context to the jump in Welsh hate crimes over the past few years. From 2012-2013, over 1,810 were reported in what the Welsh government terms “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to their hate crime problem.
Davies recalled getting anonymous notes from neighbors who claimed concern for their children because he was gay. The behavior then escalated, and he believes that social media made him an easier target.
“It got to the point then when they actually killed my cat and sent me a sympathy card for the cat. Social media is a fantastic thing when it’s used properly… but it’s also quite a nasty weapon of hate that is being used a lot more these days.”
The Welsh government agrees, and is embarking on an aggressive plan to tackle the hate crime problem. Communities minister Jeff Cuthbert is on record as saying that Wales needs “cultural changes” to curb the issue, and in the coming weeks will launch a new plan to tackle it which will include a website and a 24-hour helpline among other resources.
We hope that the Welsh government taking charge of the issue can prevent more stories as horrific as what Davies went through, and commend him for sharing his story.