Often it can be the smallest of incidents that can constitute a hate incident or crime and many victims do not report this. This maybe because they are concerned about being ‘outed’, fearful of repercussion, worried about contacting the police directly or even believe that they maybe wasting police time.
A person doesn’t have to be physically attacked or assaulted for it to be treated as a crime, below are some examples of what victims may face:
- verbal abuse like name-calling and offensive jokes
- bullying or intimidation by children, adults, neighbours or strangers
- physical attacks such as hitting, punching, pushing, spitting
- threats of violence
- hoax calls, abusive phone or text messages, hate mail
- online abuse for example on Facebook or Twitter
- displaying or circulating discriminatory literature or posters
- harm or damage to things such as your home, pet, vehicle
- throwing rubbish into a garden
- malicious complaints for example over parking, smells or noise
- criminal damage
- sexual assault
- hate mail (Malicious Communications Act 1988)
- causing harassment, alarm or distress (Public Order Act 1988).
Have you experienced any of the below? These are real life report of what some victims have had to go through, all of which are examples of hate:
One day I was walking with my friend and this person came in and kicked my friend and started swearing.
Male asylum seeker from Pakistan
I’ve had people when I walk past them spit at me and spit at the floor. You can see that it’s a show of disgust.
Veiled Muslim woman
If you pull up on the side of the road you have all sorts chucked at trailers, sometimes bricks…
Female English Roma Gypsy
It’s the name-calling and things like that, it can easily turn to violence in less than a minute. It isolates you.
Obviously I have like the tightest jeans on and I look really gay. People shout stuff all the time like “faggot”, “queer”
If a bus is full of kids, the kids start shouting when you’ve done nothing wrong.
Male with learning disabilities
It can be difficult to know what to do when you have been a victim of hate. Locally hate incidents and hate crime are believed to be under-reported by upto 80%.