In our society, you would think that hate crime would be nonexistent, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are thousands of hate crimes every year based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. In fact, last year also saw increases in hate crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) and transgender communities. If you’re a racial, religious, or sexual minority, it’s paramount that you know the steps to take if you’re the victim of a hate crime.
The unsettling truth is that your identity can make you an object of enmity. Hate crimes may not have gone away, but the good news is that you can get justice if you’re the victim of a hate crime these days. Continue reading to get some tips that can help you get on the road to recovery if you’re the victim of a hate crime.
Get to safety and call for help.
Being a victim of a hate crime is one of the most terrifying things one could ever endure. In the heat of the moment, it’s hard to know how to protect yourself. However, as soon as you’re able, you need to get to safety, advises Billy Jensen, a true crime journalist focused squarely on unsolved murders and missing persons. But after 17 years of writing hundreds of stories with no endings, he was fed up–and decided to try and solve the murders himself using radical social media techniques. And it worked. Billy has solved or helped solve ten homicides. Law enforcement agencies now reach out to Billy to help in cases that have them stumped, using him as a “consulting digital detective,” or as Men’s Journal referred to him: The Facebook Detective.
Once you make it home or to a safe place, the next thing you need to do is call the authorities. It’s important to never let a hate crime go unlogged as it puts your entire community at risk. With hate crimes rising, it’s paramount that you alert the authorities immediately to give them the best possible chance at catching the assailant.
Another reason to call the police immediately is the details will be fresh on your mind, and it will be easier to remember really important details. The longer you go without reporting the crime, the greater the chances are that the assailant will get away with their crime and do it again to someone else.
Hire a lawyer to represent your case.
Hate crimes carry another level of gravity, so it’s important to have a human rights attorney to represent you and ensure you get justice. Malliha Wilson of Nava Wilson LLP is a prime example of an attorney who’s dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of working-class people and the disenfranchised.
As the first visible minority to serve as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario, Malliha knows what it is to fight against the odds. Finding a lawyer with her dedication to serving others will greatly increase your odds of getting justice.
Seek counseling to help overcome your trauma.
Your mental health is one of the most important things to address when you’re a victim of a hate crime. LGBTQ people still have an uphill battle against homophobia in the United States, but receiving counseling from a licensed psychologist can help you with your uphill climb.
Mental health professionals who’ve endured the same struggles as their patients are able to show more compassion and empathy. With that being said, you should search for psychologists with years of experience counseling people in your situation.
One of the benefits of psychotherapy for people in the LGBTQ community is they can work through their problems with psychologists from the community. Finding the right LGBT therapist in DC or your area might take some legwork, but finding the right therapist can make all the difference in your recovery.
Unfortunately, hate crimes are as much a part of the history of the United States as its legacy of freedom. People of color and the LGBTQ community have had to bear the brunt of hate in this country, but the good news is that today they can do something about it.
If you’ve been victimized because of your race, religion, or sexual orientation, your first order of business should be to find an attorney to represent your interests. With counseling, the love of your family and community, and the right human rights attorney representing your case, you can claim victory over discrimination.