The theme for HMD 2016 Don't stand by provides an opportunity for everyone to consider the role we as individuals can play in standing up to intolerance, prejudice and hate where we see it taking place today. As part of the HMD 2016 microsite dontstandby.hmd.org.uk we are featuring three examples of contemporary hate crime taken from the experiences of people living in the UK today.
Here Benn Moore shares his experience of suffering a hate crime on the basis of his sexuality and explains how this event has changed his outlook on life.
'On the 4th of June 2013, a man decided to take it upon himself to throw a bottle of bleach in my face whilst I was on a night out with friends. He did this because of my sexuality in the hopes of seriously harming me. Naturally, at the time I was panicked due to the situation, the pain and my inability to see which at the time, I feared was a permanent repercussion of his actions. I wasn’t out to my friends or family at the time and so the sudden media attention that the attack garnered across the UK ended up being the first time they had heard about my sexuality. This was a real struggle for me amidst dealing with the physical damage the attack had caused. A couple of days passed and I found myself at somewhat of a crossroad with regard to how I was going to let this effect my day to day life.
I made a decision to embrace the attack and the event rather than let it have any sort of negative effect on my life. I was told by the hospital that my vision may not return in my left eye but as my right eye began to see again; I felt that was a huge battle already won. Thankfully for me, I have a massively supportive network of friends and family which helped the situation. My life since the attack has changed hugely, as has my confidence. Where I was confident before, I am now comfortable and confident, which I feel is a much stronger combination.
I made the decision to use the event to promote a strong message that good can come from any bad circumstance if you look for it. I can honestly say looking back, that the event, whilst hateful, was the best thing that has ever happened to me.'