Take a look at recent news stories. It is easy to see that hate crimes across the country are on the rise. In this day and age, you would think that people are open-minded enough to accept the differences among their fellow human beings. However, it appears that the exact opposite is true. Hate crimes involve bias and violence. This violence is directed against those that are a different race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, and more. The sad truth is that most of these hate crimes are not reported to the authorities for one reason or another. Here is more to consider.
Identifying Hate Crimes
Government statistics state that hate crimes are at an all time high, despite the fact that most hate crimes are never reported by the victim. Some individuals might not even know that they were the victims of a hate crime. Instead, they may consider the attack as a random act of violence. First, it is important to understand what makes a hate crime different from any other attack. Generally, a hate crime is a violent act against an individual or a group of people because of something that they might openly represent to the public. For example, a group or person of a different race, a person of a different culture, a different religion, or a different sexual orientation. Next, it is important to understand that when a hate crime has taken place, it is essential to report the matter to the proper authorities in the community. Clearly, far too many of the crimes go unreported according to authorities. Change begins with making the public aware of the prevalence of hate crimes.
Why Hate Crimes Are Not Reported
While the police and FBI are at a loss to explain why someone wouldn’t report these incidences, It is important to explore why this is. The better we understand, the better we can give them the support they need. The FBI requires that reporting the crime must be purely voluntary and up to the victimized individual or group. Although these crimes are usually violent in nature, including assault, sexual assault, or robbery, many victims assume that the police will not help them. It is also interesting to note that the arrest record for such crimes is very low, so many victims feel their attempts to stop their attackers are in vain.
Encourage Reporting and Take Protective Measures
The earlier that the crime is reported, the more likely that the perpetrator will be caught. Of the victims who report the crime, many take some time to do this. Most hate crimes are motivated by racism, followed by sexism. Hate crimes for religious reasons and against those with disabilities share equal statistics.
If you have been, or feel you may victimized, take steps to secure and protect yourself at all times. Consider keeping pepper spray on your person. Take a self-defense class to learn a few maneuvers in case you ever need to get out of a confrontation. You should also take security measures at home. This might include installing security alarms on your property, getting better lighting outside of your home to intimidate attackers, or installing a doorbell camera.
Hate crimes across the country are on the rise. However, it is also important to note that hate crimes hurt more than the victims. Hate crimes hurt the entire community. They affect families, friends, and more in a very negative way. We need to rally around these victims and offer our love, support, and resources to them.