The Monitoring Trans- and Homophobic Violence project promotes awareness in urban society and communities, and strengthens prevention and anti-violence work through specialist reports on the violence committed against LGBTI people in Berlin. The project is supported by an advisory committee of experts as well as a round table involving actors from civil society and the public sector. Monitoring reports are published for every two years in order to communicate the key findings effectively in the public arena.
(a) Continuously updated, data-based reporting on trans- and homophobic violence in Berlin, (b) Case studies in relevant areas of prevention and anti-violence work,
(c) Guest contributions by recognised experts or activists,
(d) Numerous contacts and address for dialogue, consultation and support, and
(e) Particularly for round-table members, support for processes such as the exchange of expertise and quality development to improve the documentation of trans- und homophobic violence.
The first pillar of the monitoring work involves the preparation and analysis of existing statistics and documentation on trans- and homophobic violence from the public sector and civil society. Irrespective of existing gaps and needs, on a national scale Berlin’s analysis of trans- and homophobic violence is comparatively well developed. However, there is insufficient preparation, analysis and comparison of relevant statistics and documentation. The monitoring activities thus take advantage of police statistics on ‘hate crime’ against sexual orientation as well as corresponding statistics from the public prosecutor’s office, and they also include processes to secure and document, in a systematic way, the expertise of civil-society advice and victim-support centres that specialise in trans- and homophobic violence in Berlin. This expertise covers the statistical documentation of incidents but also goes far beyond it, thus making it necessary to embrace qualitative forms of reporting, too.
Most governmental and civil-society information is based on incidents reported to the police or other agencies or requests for victim support, which means that experiences of violence that are not reported by the victims are only taken into account to a limited degree in this process. The Monitoring Trans- and Homophobic Violence in Berlin project wants to counter this situation by including representative data on experiences of discrimination against, and discriminatory attitudes towards, LGBTI people. The project has been collecting this data via population surveys on group-focused enmity (GFE) in Berlin since 2019 as part of the Berlin Monitor.
The second pillar involves using multi-methodical case studies to address central issues in the fight against trans- and homophobic violence. The focus of the first monitoring report is on anti-lesbian violence. The second report will investigate hostility towards trans* people und anti-trans* violence. Future reports will also address particular questions and themes for which only a small amount of specific research and reporting is currently available. The case studies also supplement the on-going statistical and quantitative reporting work by producing more in-depth information and deeper insights. They take greater account of the subjective experience dimensions of the victims of trans- and homophobic violence. As far as methodology is concerned, the case studies thus embrace qualitative research methods in particular, for example narrative and biographical interviews, talks with experts and group discussions.
In addition to individual victims, the intention is also for the case studies to integrate the perspectives and experiences of community organisations and advice centres with regard to orientation, system and data collection. Surveys among agencies, activists and consultants are thus integral parts of the case studies.
Explorative approaches vis-à-vis the ‘dark figure’ of unreported experiences of trans- and homophobic violence are another aspect of the case studies. Supplementary information is provided by target group-oriented surveys (particularly on-line surveys) on experiences of violence, on coping processes relating to violence and discrimination, and on suitable support services. In contrast to qualitative interviews, higher participation figures can be achieved, making it easier to assess prevalence rates as well as particular phenomena, for example.
The Monitoring Trans- and Homophobe Violence in Berlin project does not see itself as an isolated research undertaking, since the intention is also to integrate additional voices and actors from communities and anti-violence and prevention work on a regular basis. The monitoring reports are not intended, therefore, to be scientific monographs: rather, they aim to promote general-interest reading and magazine-style access to the content via separate individual contributions of different lengths. Guest contributions by external authors provide supplementary ideas and perspectives.
A service section with the addresses of anti-trans*- and homophobic violence agencies provides those looking for contacts and advice with an overview of the help and support services available in Berlin.
In addition to the reports, which are aimed at a wider public, knowledge transfer and the exchange of expertise in the advisory committee of experts and the round table is an equally relevant aspect of the monitoring work. The members of the round table are key actors in the effort to combat trans- and homophobic violence in Berlin. They possess a particularly high level of expertise and competence, since they have been familiar with the field for many years. Co-operation methods, the joint documentation of incidents and the consolidation and further development of existing procedures and approaches are each explored as part of the monitoring project.