This All Party Parliamentary Group Report report summarises hundreds of submissions that were received by organisations working in the area of hate crime work or with an interest in this area. With rising levels of hate crimes across various protected characteristics, and within a shifting and unstable political landscape, the findings paint a picture of real risk that can impact on communities and on social cohesion in our country. The report also reviews the impact of hate crimes on feelings of marginalisation which they exacerbate when the victim feels that they have not got access to justice. This can lead to a rise in extremism and vulnerabilities to it.
Key findings included:
- Women describing daily misogynistic abuse being hurled at them by men, including sexually explicit language,
- Learning disabled and autistic individuals being targeted for abuse and financial and sexual exploitation through ‘mate crimes’,
- Victims changing their routes to work, suffering mental and emotional difficulties and higher levels of anxiety and nervousness,
- Victims developing coping mechanisms as though they were acclimatising themselves for future incidents which they believed would take place in the current social and political uncertainty in the country,
- Lower levels of confidence and self-worth within people with disabilities, given the frequency of abuse and hate incidents that they suffer. Groups working with disabled people mentioned that abuse centred on the self-worth of victims, and that hate was a ‘normalised’ set of experiences for many,
- Victims of online hate built up behavioural avoidance mechanisms with some even coming off social media altogether, thereby limiting their life chances,
- How ‘fake news’ produced by politically inclined web-sites in the US, UK and Europe, attempted to create social divisions through amplified online activities. Many of these sites stoked up a ‘them and us’ approach that was disseminated widely across the internet through web-sites and social media platforms.