Using design to tackle LGBTQ+ hate crime
Blogs & Podcasts

Using design to tackle LGBTQ+ hate crime

Design Thinkers Podcast #18
Social innovation

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About this podcast 

With LGBTQ+ hate crime on the rise, what would you do to stop it? For Marta Lima, a Technical Product Owner for Cloud Engineering at Vodafone, the answer lay in design. In this podcast she talks us through her creation of Zoteria, a new app to help the LGBTQ+ community and the wider public to come together and tackle the issue of hate crime. Here Marta shares her own experiences and those of the wider community to highlight what inspired her to make the app and the design thinking process that shaped her journey.  

We first met Marta back in 2018 when she took part in one of our Design Thinkers Bootcamps. In 2020 Marta started on the creation of Zoteria after winning a global competition to develop the app. Inspired by her own experiences but also the fact that there have been 'record rises in LGBTQ+ hate crime reports in England and Wales, with recent government statistics showing a 41% increase in homophobic and biphobic hate incidents - and a 56% increase in transphobic hate incidents - compared to last year,' she wanted to use design to offer support to those who need it. 

The app was developed by the 'Vodafone Foundation in partnership with UK LGBTQ+ anti-abuse and rights charities Galop and Stonewall, and comes as new research from Vodafone found that over two-thirds (68%) of LGBTQ+ respondents had been victims of hate crime in the last year, and more than a quarter (27%) had been physically injured by an attack. But three quarters (75%) of respondents say they haven’t reported the incident because they felt it was too minor (53%) or didn’t trust the authorities to take it seriously or do anything about it (42%). 

In the podcast today Marta talks all about the creation of the app and her use of Design Thinking to build it. She highlights the importance of research in understanding others experiences and using that to inspire change. Please do listen to the podcast above, though please be aware there are subjects matters that some may find distressing. 

Download Zoteria 

About Vodafone Foundation 

Vodafone Foundation (UK registered charity number 1193984) believes the power of connectivity can change lives and address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Founded in 1991 with a simple mission to invest in the communities in which Vodafone operates, today the charity connects people and ideas with technology and funding, to help those already doing good work to achieve results faster, more cost effectively and with a bigger social impact. Through a strategy of Connecting for Good, Vodafone Group PLC’s philanthropic arm works in partnership with other charitable organisations and NGOs to create solutions that bring about long-term sustainable change and improve 480m lives by 2025. 

For further information, please visit 

About Galop 

Galop is the UK’s LGBT+ anti-abuse charity, working with and for LGBT+ victims and survivors of interpersonal abuse and violence. 

Galop works directly with thousands of LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence every year. They specialise in supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, hate crime, and other forms of abuse including honour-based abuse, forced marriage, and so-called conversion therapies. Galop is a service run by LGBT+ people, for LGBT+ people, and the needs of the LGBT+ community are at the centre of what they do. 

Galop runs three national support helplines: one for LGBT+ victims and survivors of domestic abuse, one for LGBT+ people who have experienced hate crime, and the other for victims and survivors of so-called conversion therapies and practices. They provide advocacy services, both in London and nationally, for LGBT+ victims who need longer-term support. Galop is person-centred, empowerment-based, and trauma-informed – meaning their focus is always on helping clients decide what is best for them, and then supporting them through their journey. 

Find out more about Galop at 

About Stonewall 

Stonewall is a UK-based charity that stands for the freedom, equity and potential of all lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people. 

Founded in London in 1989, Stonewall carries out work in each nation of the UK and also partners with other organisations across the world. They have been centrally involved in the successful campaigns for LGBTQ+ people in the UK to win equal rights around marriage, having children, and inclusive education.  

Stonewall drives positive change in public attitudes and public policy, driven by a commitment to see a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be themselves and can live their lives to the full. 

Find out more about Stonewall at