GUEST BLOG – What is hate crime and how can I help?
It is a truly unfortunate pattern that sometimes, when negative things happen across the world, whether it be a pandemic or declaration of war, some people turn to hate crime.
Millie Bolt, Group Corporate Social Responsibility Projects Coordinator at the college, sheds light on hate crime including its definition and how we can help.
What is it?
Hate crime is defined as a crime that is motivated by prejudice on the basis of race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or other parts of a person’s identity. It typically involves violence and can also involve other actions such as:
- Verbal abuse
- Damage to property
How can I help?
Stand by Me is an initiative that empowers people to tackle hate crime. What victims can often find most hurtful is when people watch hate crime occur and do nothing. The project recognises that you are less likely to help someone in need when there are other people around you, yet if someone intervenes within 10 seconds of an incident, 50% of the time, this stops or deescalates the situation.
In addition, statistics from the project show that over the past few years, West Yorkshire has had one of the highest rates of hate crime in the UK.
There are direct interventions you can do when you are confident and it is safe to do so which are to distract, disapprove, or directly challenge. Alternatively, if it is not safe to get physically involved, there are indirect interventions of witness, reporting, and supporting those affected. To read more about these strategies please, click here.
What to do if you’re a victim of hate crime
It can be scary and confusing to experience hate crime. Some people might not realise this has happened to them until a while later, whereas other experiences may have involved clear threatening behaviour or violence.
When you feel you can, reporting the incident, whether you know this was an incident of hate or not, is important, so police can get a clear understanding of what happened. Numbers you can call are:
- 999 for emergencies
- CrimeStoppers – call 0800 555 111
- Text British Transport Police on 61016 or call 0800 405 040 if you are on a train or the tube
- Victim Support – call 080816 89111
What support services are available?
A charity helping survivors cope with the emotional effects of hate crime. The organisation offers advice when liaising with other agencies such as the police, and provides practical help on topics ranging from safety to court proceedings.
Stop Hate UK
Leading organisation which provides independent and confidential support for victims, witnesses, and third parties through a 24-hour reporting service. They also provide a resource hub with advice on how to challenge online hate and how to report hate online.
Police-funded website which provides information about hate crime.
If you’re a student at college and would like support if you’re feeling worried or stressed about something, head to this page.