Homophobic and Transphobic Violence in Contemporary Ukraine: Victims' Experiences and Patterns of Policing

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  • This study examines homophobic and transphobic violence in contemporary Ukraine:
    victims’ experiences and patterns of policing and prosecuting by the law enforcement and
    judicial systems. A range of research methods - primarily in-depth semi-formal interviews and
    document analysis - were employed to conduct this study.
    The first chapter examines the experiences of LGBTI+ victims who faced hate and biasmotivated assaults; the ways they navigate public space in; as well as their attitudes to the
    criminal justice system before and after experiencing the major violent attacks. Also, this part
    examines the patterns of the violent situations from a micro-sociological point of view.
    The second chapter is dedicated to the issues of policing and prosecuting of such crimes
    by the law enforcement officers. This part examines the first encounters of LGBTI+ people by
    the police officers, the language police officers use while interacting with LGBTI+ victims,
    existing practices of recognition and categorization of these attacks, patterns of investigation and
    prosecution, and related issues. A separate focus is on the effect of informalities and extralegalities on anti-queer violence policing and the changes in policing and prosecuting practices in
    the context of the Police Reform (2015).
    The last chapter is dedicated to the issues of the judicial system’s response to violence
    against LGBTI+ people, and also examines collateral damages and long-time consequences of
    victimization and justice-seeking process.
    The study is informed by multiple theoretical frameworks and approaches - queer
    criminology, critical legal studies, critical criminology, pure sociology, structural functionalism,
    micro-sociology and symbolic interactionism, and employs a wide range of theories, applying
    the concepts of structural and cultural violence, street-level bureaucracy, contact zone etc. to
    analyze the issues described above.
    This thesis seeks to contribute to discussions about the political strategies of LGBTI+
    communities and advocacy groups towards the criminal justice system and anti-violence policies,
    such as: the peculiarities of cultural violence against LGBTI+ people and the role of the criminal
    justice system in these violent structures; the advancement or politicization of hate crimes
    policing and resistance to it within the criminal justice system; and the capacity of agency and
    discretion law enforcement officers have while dealing with hate and bias-motivated attacks.

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