The website revealed that six months before the arson, a paper with written invitation from Ku Klux Klan for a rally was seen tacked at the doors of the church. Two white men named Cox and Welch pleaded guilty of the crime of arson. The website reported that the incidents make victims feel elevated forms of angriness, feel alienated and normally result to tensions within the group. The entire group feels isolated from the rest of the community with overwhelming feeling of defenselessness. In cases where there were members murdered, the survivor members of the religious group according to the website live in isolation with lingering great fear for a long period of time of possible assaults in the future.
The surviving members often blame the police and the government for their trauma and feeling of vulnerability. There were also some instances that the victims lashed out against non-members and other groups. In the over-all, hate crimes toward a religious group can set up a never-ending spiral motion of antagonism and divisiveness.
It is of great importance to note that based from the information revealed by the website, hate crimes against religious organizations tend to isolate the group from other groups of society and an overall feeling of helplessness is developed. This helplessness feeling plus the lingering psychological pain of another possible crime against them can result to anger against the perpetrators and if not properly checked by authorities may lead to domestic as well as international armed violence as in the case of Hamas rebels of Palestine and the Jews of Israel. Impact on Homophobic Victims The most comprehensive study on impact of hate crimes to homophobic orientation in the US was from Herek, Cogan and Gillis in 2002.
The authors contacted 2259 lesbians, 4 gay men and bi-sexuals around Sacramento, California and asked them to fill questionnaire related to psychological orientation, their views about it, nature of hate crimes experienced, in what year they experienced the hate crimes and detailed description of physical and psychological effects of the crime.
The results were statistically analyzed with accompanying analysis on statistical correlation of different variants. It was established with statistical significance that homophobic victims of hate crimes suffered longer post- traumatic stress disorder symptoms characterized by higher levels of anger, anxiety and depression compared to non-hate motivated crimes (Abstract, p. 945). The study also pointed out that it normally took five years for the post –traumatic stress and anxiety to subside compared to only two years for the non-hate offences.
Owing to the fact that homophobic offences normally occurred in public from one or more males unknown to the victim, and the fact that hatred is associated with the crime, the anxiety and depression is transferred to all members of the sexual minority as they may also be the subject of humiliation in the near future. It was also revealed that sincere acceptance of homosexuality and sexual orientation of an individual reduces the impact and severity of psychological stress. Those individuals who has not yet accepted their sexual orientation within themselves that they are such were more prone to greater and longer psychological stress and treat the world as too cruel to them (Discussion, p. 950).
The fact that social orientation is developed outside of the knowledge of the immediate family render the homophobic victim helpless as they normally refuse assistance from them. It is quite astonishing to realize from actual observations and associations with homosexuals, gay, lesbians and bi-sexuals that at the back of those smiles and happy –go- lucky lifestyle, within themselves, they were silently suffering from lingering psychological stress. It is now clear that the advice of a number of them is go out of the closet and accept the fact of their sexual orientation.
This is to reduce the impact of the stress in their everyday lives. Behind this fact is the number of successful individual belonging to sexual minorities who battle the stresses and go on living and do what pleases 5 them, accept the fact and develop their God given talents, be accepted by society and live a stress-free life. There are countries where homosexuality is legal but despite this, there is no equal protection given to the group.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada through the United Nations High Commission on Refugees revealed that one such country where homosexuality is legal is Ukraine. Their constitution guarantee equal rights for every citizen but there is no specific law to address discrimination as a result of choice of sexual orientation. The paper revealed that in 2007, a document called “Ukrainian Homosexuals and Society: A Reciprocation” (Societal Attitudes toward Homosexuality, 3rd par. ), that “78. 2 percent of homosexuals report that they have experienced some form of discrimination, most often in the form of refusal of employment or dismissal […]” (3rd par. ).
Furthermore, the group complained that issues related to their health and sexual orientation were divulged by medical personnel to third parties causing them to feel some form of oppression and discrimination. As a result of the trauma, the over-all impact is lacking faith in the judicial system, mistrust towards the law enforcement and the decision to isolate themselves from the rest of society. This condition runs counterproductive to their right to equal employment and fair representation to the judicial system. These issues can cause lingering psychological trauma and failing trust and faith on the government and society.