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Fictional Examples of Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes

Incident Is it a Hate Crime Comments
‘I was out with my friends in a bar when a drunken man called me an offensive name referring to my sexuality. He pushed me and then punched me in the face, which made my cheek go red and bruised.’ Yes – you should report it Homophobic abuse and punching are examples of verbal abuse and physical assault. You can experience homophobic abuse even if you are not gay, lesbian, bisexual or straight - the offence was committed regardless of the actual sexual orientation of the victim.
‘I took my family out shopping for the day. We were in the town centre and as we walked past a couple sitting on a bench looked at us and shouted, ‘**** off back to your own country’ and then spat at my wife.’ Yes – you should report it This is an example of verbal abuse whilst spitting at someone is a physical assault. The reference to the victim’s origin makes it racist, which means it is a hate crime. The offence was committed regardless of the victim’s actual ethnicity.
‘I came home from work today and found that someone had written ‘tranny’ in big letters with spray paint on my fence.’ Yes – you should report it This type of graffiti is criminal damage and the use of the transphobic words means that the offence is motivated by prejudice, making it a hate crime.
‘I was walking my children home from school. As a car drove past, the driver wound the window down and shouted something about our faith and us being terrorists. They said that they were going to ‘get us’. My children were frightened and said that they have been getting similar abuse at school.’ Yes – you should report it. You should report this both to the Police and to your children’s school. This is verbal abuse and threats based on someone’s actual or perceived faith or religion - regardless of whether those persons receiving the abuse are actually of the faith or religion is irrelevant.
‘I have a medical condition that makes it very difficult for me to walk. I was walking back from the local shops when a group of young people started laughing and jeering and mimicking my walk. One of them was in a school uniform I recognised and another one, I recognised as the son of my next door neighbour but one. We’re both tenants of the same Housing Association. I heard them say some really unpleasant things about me.’ Yes – you should report it. You should report to the Police, to the school and to your Housing Association. Hate crime incidents can be based on any disability, not just a physical one. A victim might be targeted because they have a speech or hearing difficulty or if they are blind but they might also be targeted because of their mental health issues or if they have learning difficulties.
‘I think some of the other pupils at my college are spreading rumours that I am gay. They don’t say anything to my face but they keep telling ‘gay’ jokes when I’m nearby. I’ve heard them whispering my name and laughing; the last time this happened, a text message appeared on my friend’s phone telling them they shouldn’t talk to gay people.’ Yes – you should report it. Although this is not a crime as no criminal offence has been committed, it is still a hate incident and will be treated seriously. This type of behaviour should not be tolerated as it shows prejudice. Some people think these types of incidents are not serious but they can have a big impact on the victim and can also escalate to more serious types of hate crime.

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