COC & Safety

Fortunately, many lhbti+ persons in the Netherlands feel safe to be themselves. Nevertheless, a significant portion of our community still faces discrimination, bullying or even violence. For example, seven in ten lhbti+ persons face discriminatory violence in their lives, whether it is verbal or physical. You also see it regularly in news reports: lhbti+ persons being bullied out of their homes or being scolded or beaten up in the street. We plead with politicians, police, the Public Prosecutor's Office and many other agencies to take a firm approach to violence and discrimination.

What can I do?
Fabio and Daniel were attacked for walking hand-in-hand through Amsterdam East. At the COC, they engaged in conversation with Minister Grapperhaus

Here's how COC is making a difference

We are actively working for a Netherlands where lhbti+ persons can safely be themselves. Where trans people can dress the way they want and where same-sex couples can kiss or walk down the street hand-in-hand - without violence or swearing. This is why we urge politicians, prosecutors, police and other agencies to take firm action against discrimination, bullying and violence. Our regional associations also often have short lines of communication with local authorities. This allows us to identify and address safety issues together.

Here's why attention is so important

In recent years, the number of registered cases of discrimination and violence against lhbti+ persons has increased significantly. And that is probably just the tip of the iceberg, because unfortunately only about 15% of lhbti+ persons report or report discriminatory violence. 

Different groups in our community face different forms of violence. For example, lesbian and bi+ women often face violence with sexual overtones. Gay and bi+ men and non-binary persons also experience sexual violence. Transgender and non-binary persons are seven times more likely than average to be assaulted or threatened with it. Homosexual men often receive aggressive reactions when walking down the street hand-in-hand. And more than half of intersex persons faced discrimination for being intersex in 2022. Lhbti+ persons also face sexual violence and other transgressive behavior more often than others. This is especially true for asexual, bi+ and transgender persons. Not surprisingly, more than half of our community modifies their behavior to avoid negative reactions.

Time for change, then.

COC has already accomplished this

Fortunately, we are also seeing improvements. Since 2011, double the penalty can be demanded in cases of discriminatory violence. Almost every police region now has a Pink in Blue unit. You can go to these officers for support if you have to deal with anti-lhbti+ violence and discrimination. In 2022, the police appointed the first so-called discrimination investigators, although there are still far too few of them. And to prevent violence, we achieved that promoting acceptance has been compulsory at every school in the Netherlands since 2012.

But we are not there yet!

What can I do?

File a report!

With your report, the police and other agencies can work to address discrimination and violence. There are several places you can go. Read more here.

Pink in Blue

Sometimes it can be nice to talk to someone who recognizes your experience. Roze in Blauw consists of specialized officers from the lhbti+ police network. Read more about reporting or reporting to Pink Police here.

Read more here

You can file a report at your local police station. There you can also ask questions.

Read more here

Reporting online to the police

Prefer to report discrimination to the police online? You can do that, too. 

Read here how


Do you see violence happening in front of you? In emergencies, always call 911. In addition, take as many photos and videos of the perpetrators as possible. Stay with the victim until emergency services arrive, that way we help each other!

Internet Discrimination Hotline

Do you see or experience discrimination on the Internet? If so, you can report it to the national Internet Discrimination Hotline (MiND).

Read here how

Human Rights Board

Do you experience discrimination in your environment? So for example at school, your work, your gym, your flat? Or while shopping, going out and playing sports? Report it to the Human Rights Board.

Read here how


Experiencing a crime is very drastic. Victim Support helps when you need it, in a way that suits you. You can turn to them for emotional support, help in the criminal process and support in getting compensation for your damages. This support is always free of charge.

Read more here

For all other forms of discrimination, please visit is the website of the Dutch anti-discrimination bureaus (ADBs). Have you been discriminated against? Did you witness it? Let us know! The staff of the anti-discrimination bureaus are ready to help you.

Learn more

Important news and publications

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a victim of physical violence because of my sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sex characteristics. Can you help me?

First of all, we encourage you to file a tax return! Above you'll find a list of where to go. Should you feel the need to share your experience, we are happy to refer you to Switchboard at

Photo credits © Geert van Tol