What is Hate Crime and Discrimination?
Discrimination is when someone treats you differently, unfairly or worse because of your age, being disabled, your gender or gender identity, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or having a child, your religion or beliefs, your ethnicity, or your sexuality.
A hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a persons characteristics such as their race, disability, sexual orientation. This includes physical assault, verbal abuse and when someone acts in a way that is threatening and intended to stir up hatred. A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.
It’s not OK to be targeted because of who you, your family or your friends are – or who people think they are. You have the right to live your life free from abuse and violence. If you’ve been the victim of a hate crime remember it is not your fault and help is available.
How Can I Report It?
You can report a hate crime or incident in a number of ways, whether you have experienced it, or witnessed it:
- Police: If you feel like you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999 immediately. If you would like to report an incident to the police after it has happened or for non-emergencies contact the police by phone on 101, or via their new live chat service (available 8am - midnight each day). If you don’t want to report the incident yourself, you can ask someone else to phone the police on your behalf such as a friend or relative.
- True Vision: True Vision has been developed so that you can report hate crimes online. You can use their online form to report to your local police, or report online hate material.
- Coventry University Harassment Report: If you have experienced or witnessed harassment/hate incident(s), you can make a report (see below) to Coventry University. The university encourages reports of harassment/hate incident(s) that may, or may not, be a crime and you can report anonymously if you wish to, and you can also request to speak with an advisor about the incident. Fill in the online form here.
Remember, if you feel like you're in danger, there are people ready to help!
If there is ever an emergency and/or you feel as though you are in danger on campus or in University owned halls, contact the University’s Protection Service on 024 7765 8555 (or 5555 on internal phones). For emergencies off University property, especially when you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999 immediately. Hollie Guard is a very useful App that we’d recommend having on your smartphone! If you’re ever in a situation where you feel in danger, the app allows you to immediately alert your emergency contacts and also has the option to sound a personal deterrent alarm to draw attention to the situation.
Experiencing or witnessing a hate crime or discrimination can negatively impact your mental health. You could feel worried or anxious, depressed, scared or lonely. It's important to seek support. Your feelings are valid, and help is available.
- Victim Support: Victim Support is an independent charity that offer free and confidential support to those affected by any form of crime. You can contact your local victim care team in the West Midlands on 0300 303 1977 - Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-5pm on Saturday. Outside those hours you can call the Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support via their website. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic they have also made their free live chat available 24/7.
- Speak to your GP or the university medical centre: If you are experiencing flashbacks or intrusive thoughts about a traumatic incident or think you might have PTSD, or experience any changes to your mood and behaviour that feel out of the ordinary.
- Stop Hate UK: Stop Hate provide support and information to people affected by all forms of Hate Crime in locations across the UK, including support on specific types of hate crime such as LGBT+ and Disability Hate Crime. They have video relay for BSL interpreters too. You can call their 24 hour Helpline on 0800 138 1625.
- SHOUT 85258: Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, anonymous mental health text support service that you can access 24/7. To start a conversation, text the word 'SHOUT' to 85258.
- University Counselling & Mental Health Service: You may wish to speak with the Counselling and Mental Health team at the university to seek support. You can call them on 024 7765 8029 or email: email@example.com.