Hate Crime is one of the most under-reported crimes in the UK.
But victims who experience hate crime can have major psychological and emotional impacts. As we are increasingly and worryingly becoming an intolerant society, it is important we know first of all: what is hate crime? How we can report it? What kind of support is there?
So what is hate crime? As someone who comes from very diverse background and communities, I consider myself very lucky as I get to experience all sorts of cultures and get to engage with and meet all kinds of wonderful people. It is also the case that I know of many people who have experienced hate crime but have not known where to turn to.
What is a hate crime?
Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s:
- Race or perceived race;
- Religion or perceived religion;
- Sexual Orientation or perceived sexual orientation;
- Disability or perceived disability
- Transgender identity or perceived transgender identity
This means that if you feel you have been a victim of crime as a result of being targeted for one of the above strands, you can report it to us or the police as a hate crime.
So now we know what hate crime is. It is being targeted due to your identity or your perceived identity. It can have lasting psychological impacts as I have had many people say to me that they feel alone, not feel welcome and feel that they are different and don’t have a sense of belonging etc. What is important is that it is happening now and can have lasting impacts on individuals .
For the past 5 years hate crime has risen continuously and this could be for many reasons. One of which includes the B word.
Yes I mean BREXIT. No matter your political views on Brexit, you can’t deny the correlation between Brexit and rising hate crime -which goes back to my earlier point that we are increasingly becoming an intolerant society .
I know all this must be sounding grim, but there is support out there for victims of hate crime and people who want to report it. Here’s what Victim Support offer :
“All of our services are free and confidential.
We have specially trained staff and volunteers across Wales who can provide emotional support for you and anyone else who may have been affected by the crime to help you cope and recover.
We can make things easier by advocating with the police and housing.
We can help make you feel safe again with personal and home security.
We can signpost you to other agencies to ensure you have the best support in place.”
So don’t lose hope, the only way to get rid of hate is through love so be kind to your neighbours, help them, see how your family is doing, smile. It doesn’t cost anything to be a good person. So do yourselves and society a favour and I will also try to be a good and kind person. See how your life changes when you’re kind to people.
Victim Support also offer third party reporting if you’re not ready to report to the police yourself. More information is on the website below: