What is a Hate Crime?
A hate crime is defined as – any incident which constitutes a criminal offence, perceived by the victim or anyone else as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
A hate incident is defined as- any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or anyone else as being motivated by prejudice or hate.
Hate crime can take many forms such as physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse. It can range from non-verbal intimidation to physical violence. Whichever form the abuse may take, it is important that you tell someone. In Suffolk any form of hate crime will be taken seriously, no matter how insignificant you may feel it is at the time.
Are being physically assaulted, called names, bullied? Are you feeling intimidated? Is your property being vandalised? It is important that you tell someone when you have experienced a Hate Incident or Hate Crime even if you do not wish to be contacted by anyone.
Stop Hate UK, a national organisation, has produced a film ‘What is Hate Crime’ with British sign language, sub-titles and voiceover.
Stay Safe Scheme
The Suffolk Hate Crime Service, in partnership with a range of agencies and businesses, operates a ‘Stay Safe’ Scheme in Suffolk. The Scheme is currently in Felixstowe, Lowestoft, Woodbridge, Needham Market, Stowmarket, Eye, Saxmundham, Wickham Market, Sudbury, and Beccles. Agencies are currently planning the scheme for Bury St Edmunds and Newmarket. Leading Lives and Realise Futures have committed to the scheme, with Realise Futures producing the Stay Safe Cards and supporting documents.
Without their continued support the scheme would not be able to develop as it is doing. Many businesses, including shops, restaurants, banks and pubs across Suffolk display the specially-designed ‘Stay Safe’ window sticker to identify them, and provide help and support to anyone who comes to them or provide an environment for them to feel safe. This could include young people who are victims of bullying, people with physical or learning disabilities, or older people who may feel anxious when out and about in public areas.
If you are suffering Domestic Abuse, feeling threatened, harassed, physically/mentally abused or sexually assaulted by your partner, former partner or by someone who is or has been close to you. Don’t suffer alone.
More information about Domestic Abuse support in Suffolk is available here.