Definition: A hate crime can be any kind of crime, e.g. harassment, criminal damage etc. If the person committing the crime does so because they think the victim is different from them in some way then that can be classed as a hate crime.
Most people, at some point in their lives, know what it is like to be called an upsetting name or know what it is like to feel bullied or taunted. Thankfully, for most, these incidents are ‘one offs’ and it does not go further or hurt deeper than a graze on the knee that heals after a week or 2.
There are however people in our community who are bullied and taunted regularly because of their sexuality, their race or religion, their gender, a disability, the way they look or the way they dress, basically because of who they are. Sometimes it does not stop with name calling too, it can escalate to serious harassment and even physical violence.
CACH (Communities Against Crimes of Hate) is an organisation set up in Staffordshire to help victims of these sorts of incidents.
Brian (not real name) has, for over 20 years, suffered verbal abuse and name calling from people who don’t even know him. They feel they can do it because he has disabilities so people see him as ‘an easy target’. Now in his 50s he has decided to take a stand against those who have spent so many years abusing him.
Upon deciding he wasn’t going to put up with it any longer Brian started to report incidents to the police and he was referred to CACH. CACH offered emotional and practical support and over time, as his confidence grew he began to do volunteer work and he has been able to talk to some of those who have abused him and made them realise the hurt they have caused.
Brian still sometimes experiences name calling but due to the support and acceptance he receives when volunteering his confidence has gone from strength to strength and he does not get as upset.
Any incident or crime that is thought to be motivated by the victim’s ‘difference’ can be reported to CACH. CACH (pronounced ‘catch’) will deal with the incident in whatever way the victim wants; offering information and advice should the victim be unsure of what steps can be taken, being an advocate for them or just acting as a listening service.
CACH work very closely with the police, schools, housing associations, local authorities and other support networks to ensure that the best possible service is delivered to people who experience these types of crimes or incidents.
As well as supporting victims in a one to one setting CACH also deliver training and awareness sessions to schools, youth clubs, community groups, partner agencies or any other interested groups.
Many well publicised cases have ended far less happily for some victims and that is why it is so important that incidents are reported before they go too far.
If you have experienced a hate crime or hate incident, are interested in CACH coming to talk to you or your group or just want to ask a question please do not hesitate to get in touch:
Tell: 0797 149 7988
We are also on Social Media, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with the name @CACHPartnership
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