An Edinburgh man has spoken out about a campaign of homophobic harassment that has left him feeling unsafe in his ow neighbourhood.
Daniel Donaldson, who has recently been volunteering at the Commonwealth games, says the abuse began with children making relatively mild comments but grew much worse over the school holidays. The children threw stones at his house and smashed the windscreen of his partner’s parents’ car. They made inappropriate sexual comments and went on to accuse him of being a paedophile. They also shouted and swore repeatedly and banged his letterbox. Later they were joined by an adult who called him a beast, leading to him being afraid that adults in the area might attack him due to claims made by the children.
Donaldson spoke of feeling stressed out and anxious, suffering from headaches and finding himself unable to sleep sometimes as a result of the harassment. “I couldn’t enjoy my time at Glasgow because I was worried about my partner at home,” he said.
Police Scotland have been quick to respond to the problem and Donaldson is full of praise for the effort they have made, but says the fact the perpetrators are under 16 makes it very difficult for them to take effective action. “The children’s panel system will kick in at some point in the future,” he said. “This means that the youths are free to continue abuse and they did so… even after they had been charged.”
Donaldson now hopes to get a court order to keep the children away from his house, but this is proving difficult because he has been unable to obtain their full names.
“I own my home. Why should I have to leave?” he asked. “This behaviour is unacceptable.”
A study by Stonewall Scotland has shown that two thirds of Scottish LGBT people experience hate crime at some point in their lives.