Netherlands sees launch of anti gay bashing app Published on : 30 May 2012 – 11:30pm | By RNW News Desk (Photo: RNW)

25 Apr

Following the lead of the United States and Belgium, the Netherlands on Wednesday saw the launch of the latest smartphone app: Bashing.eu. The application is intended to provide an overview of violence against members of the LGBT community.

The app, an initiative of the Vrienden van de Gay Krant foundation (Friends of the Gay Newspaper), is extremely user-friendly. It takes less than a minute for a victim to upload where, how and when what kind of violence was used against them. The data are stored and processed to create a map of the Netherlands showing an overview of homophobic incidents.

Henk Krol, chair of the foundation and editor-in-chief of the Gay Krant, says that users of the app also receive advice on what to do next.

“If something’s happened to you, you can immediately file a report with the police via your mobile phone. And you will receive tips on where to file a complaint. Because each complaint is of course different. Were you bullied? Or threatened physically? Depending on what you fill in, you get tips on what should be the right place for you to go.”

Registration
The Vrienden van de Gay Krant foundation works together with the Public Prosecution Service and the national Ombudsman in order to find the most effective way of taking action against homophobic violence. Mr Krol hopes this will lead to a reduction in the number of incidents. All reports are also registered at www.bashing.eu.

So far, the results in Utrecht have been encouraging. The app was launched there at the end of March under the name Gay Alert. According to Henk Krol there is a surge in the number of reports each time the media pay attention to the app: “I expect an increase in the number of reports, because they can be filed faster this way.”

Outrage!
The Dutch app against gay bashing is based on its Belgian counterpart, which is the brain child of Bert Vermeire. He is a developer at a Brussels’ advertising agency who came across a Facebook appeal launched by Belgian anti gay bashing movement Outrage! “People were asked to come up with a strategy to create an inventory of homophobic violence,” says Vermeire.

Recently published figures show a substantial increase in homophobic incidents in 2010. The number of incidents had doubled compared to 2009. Dutch LGBT interests group COC says seven in ten homosexual men and women in the Netherlands face homophobic violence at some point in their lives.

(gsh)

 
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