Children Counselled For Homophobic Abuse
2 November 2016, 12:00
Children as young as ten are receiving counselling for homophobic abuse in the North East, a Heart investigation has found.
Gay Advice Durham and Darlington (GADD) says a range of people, from young school children up to 85-year-olds, regularly access its support service.
It also told Heart's investigation that for every one homophobic hate crime that's reported, another six remain unknown - leaving vulnerable people suffering in silence.
The service also treats people who feel suicidal after being a victim of homophobic abuse.
Emma Roebuck, manager at GADD, told Heart how her experiences of being abused drive her to support others:
It comes as Heart reveals violent homophobic attacks are on the up in the North East, with one now happening every three days.
Since the start of 2015 to the end of June of this year, there were just under 180 attacks on gay people in the region - that's an average of ten a month.
The total number of reported homophobic hate crimes, which includes verbal abuse and threats, is also up.
In the same time period there were 399 cases reported to the police, which is an average of 22 a month.
If you've been a victim you can get support from GADD here.