Almost two-thirds of Europe's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are still afraid to show their sexuality in public and most feel discriminated against, an EU report said Friday, the International Day Against Homophobia.
"Fear, isolation and discrimination are everyday phenomena for the LGBT community in Europe," the director of the European Union's Agency for Fundamental Rights, Morten Kjaerum, wrote in the report.
The online survey, described as the largest of its kind, questioned around 93,000 people in the European Union's 27 member states plus Croatia, which is to join the bloc in July.
Over a quarter (26 percent) of the respondents said that they had been physically or verbally assaulted over the last five years.
Transgenders suffered particularly, with 28 percent saying they had been attacked or threatened more than three times in the last 12 months because of their sexuality, the report said.
Some respondents said that attitudes were worsening, even in countries that are traditionally considered to be tolerant.
"My situations of harassment/discrimination/violence are mainly random acts of verbal aggression," a 27-year-old gay Belgian wrote.
"The situation is worse now than it was, for example, four years ago."
In The Netherlands, the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage in 2001, almost 20 percent of those taking part said they felt discriminated against when going to sport clubs or hospitals, looking for an apartment, going out at night, or dealing with banks.
Many are afraid to go to the police, including in France where the beating of a gay couple in April hit the headlines after pictures of the bloodied face of one of the victims spread across social media.
"(I am) reluctant to report anything that might indicate that I am gay, as I know (the police) just dismiss everything," a 42-year-old Frenchman said.
Two-thirds of respondents and three-quarters of gay men said they were afraid to show their sexuality in public.