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National Hate Crime Awareness Week

From the 9th to the 16th of October it is National Hate Crime Awareness Week. This information comes from Gwent Police.

Written by Fiona

07 Oct, 2021

Stop Hate UK logo

What is hate crime?

Hate crime is a crime that has been committed against someone because of their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Transgender identity

These are called protected characteristics. You can experience hate crime based on one or more of the above, or if you have been perceived to have one or more of these protected characteristics.

Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related.

Types of hate crime

Hate crime can fall into one of three main types: physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred.

Physical assault

Physical assault of any kind is an offence. If you’ve been a victim of physical assault you should report it. Depending on the level of the violence used, a perpetrator may be charged with common assault, actual bodily harm or grievous bodily harm.

Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse, threats or name-calling can be a common and extremely unpleasant experience for minority groups.

Victims of verbal abuse are often unclear whether an offence has been committed or believe there is little they can do. However, there are laws in place to protect you from verbal abuse.

If you’ve been the victim of verbal abuse, talk to the police or a partner organisations about what has happened. You’ll find a list of them on the ‘How to report hate crime’ page on the Gwent Police website.

Even if you don’t know who verbally abused you, the information could still help the Police to improve how they police the area where the abuse took place.

Incitement to hatred

The offence of incitement to hatred occurs when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. That could be in words, pictures, videos, music, and includes information posted on websites.

Hate content may include:

  • messages calling for violence against a specific person or group;
  • web pages that show pictures, videos or descriptions of violence against anyone due to their perceived differences;
  • chat forums where people ask other people to commit hate crimes against a specific person or group.

Impact of hate crime

If you have been a victim of hate crime you may feel many emotions that you are not sure how to deal with. These could be:

Emotional – Uncontrollable crying, agitation, restlessness, shame, fear, nightmares, numbness, guilt, frustration and hopelessness

Behavioural – Deterioration in personal relationships, paranoid-like guardedness, avoidance, isolation, detachment and loss of identity.

You may also have physical injuries or financial losses as a result of the crime. For example, there may have been an assault, or your property may have been damaged.

How to report hate crime

By reporting hate crime, you may be able to prevent it from happening again.

Is it an emergency?

Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can use the textphone service 18000.

Report by phone – call 101

A national, non-emergency telephone number is staffed 24/7 to give you support and advice.

Or visit a police station.

Other help available

The charities, groups and organisations below can offer support, advice and ways to report the incident without having to talk directly to the police.

Connect Gwent
Help for victims of crime in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen.

Wales-wide help:

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Info Wales
Help if you're on the spectrum.

Hafan Cymru
Helping people to live well.

Age Cymru
Support for senior citizens.

A national charity with a free helpline for reporting crime anonymously.

A national project supporting victims of anti-Muslim hate and monitoring anti-Muslim incidents.

Community Security Trust (CST)
A charity protecting British Jews from antisemitism and related threats.

A national charity providing advice and support to members of the LGBT community.

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