A hate crime is by definition “a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.” This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week and it is therefore a great time to learn more about what hate crimes are, how they can be prevented and how those affected can be helped.
Today, there is a massive eruption in the level of hate crimes in certain countries, ethnic groups and among certain communities in the world, and the majority of them has cost lives and ended in destruction. It has also been studied that people who have been victims of violent hate crimes, have a higher risk of being affected by mental disorders as opposed to people who have been affected by other violent crimes.
What happens to people who are affected by these crimes?
Post-traumatic Stress, safety concerns, depression, anger and anxiety along with unexpected bursts of violently aggressive behavior in response to the safety concerns that they feel are often experienced by victims of hate crimes and in some cases it is so severe that it renders that person unable to carry on a normal level of day to day life.
This video gives you a really great idea about the kind of situations surrounding hate crimes in the UK specifically and how people feel about it.
What is the Intention Behind a Hate Crime?
The intention here is intimidation. Hate crimes will send a message to the victim’s group like family and friends or others from his or her community that they are unwelcome and unsafe wherever they are. It therefore doesn’t stop at just victimising one person, it does so to that entire community. When you are put in a place to see what kind of ill-treatment one of your own has gone through, it creates feelings of low self-esteem and psychological distress even if you have not been attacked directly.
What are the Main Reasons Behind Hate Crimes?
1. For the Thrill Of It All
Hate crimes are often driven by a rather immature and selfish thought that is based solely on thrill. For an example a bunch of young men or women, under the influence of intoxicating substances may feel ‘bored’ and want to just pick on somebody or some community that they think is not right. This is hardly a valid reason to inflict such terrible pain on anybody but experts say that this is most often the case. According to a study done by CNN, the attackers think that their victims have nobody who cares about them anyway or that the society will consider their hate crimes as brave deeds!
The graph below shows the proportion of hate crimes by recorded offence type, England and Wales 2011/12
2. The Need to ‘Defend’
The next biggest reason for hate crimes to happen is because of the need to defend your turf or territory. It could be defending anything from their home, workplace, religion or nationality. They have no or very little remorse for the people that they choose to hurt and believe just like the thrill seekers that society will never defend the victims or that what they are doing is a genuine act of necessity.
3. The ‘Avenger’ Complex
Hate crimes that fall into the retaliatory category are committed by those who feel the need to avenge themselves. It could be anything from a personal issue like a bad breakup to something big as feeling like their country is threatened. They act alone a lot of the time and will target people from a particular community, race or religion or the likes even though that person may never have done anything wrong. Sometimes these “defend” crimes happen after a significant issue arises like the 9/11 which lead to an increase in hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs that spiked to a 1600%.
4. The “Mission Offenders”
Without a doubt the deadliest and rarest of them all, the mission offenders are people who will commit violent hate crimes because they have been committed to a cause by others who show themselves as leaders and crusaders for something like their religion, race or country. These are usually extremists and their offenders will often travel to iconic sights that they think should not stand there and often seek to take the lives of many people as they can, like suicide bombers for example. If you want to know more about why people commit hate crimes, this in-depth study by the University of Edinburgh will be a good read.
How can you Help Victims of Hate Crimes?
You have to understand that once a hate crime has been inflicted upon a person, there is no way for them to ever just delete that trauma off their minds. Therefore one of the best things that you could do if you know somebody who has been subjected to a hate crime is to provide them with the right counsellling and support groups where they will be able to talk and know that people will understand and respect them regardless of what has happened.
Are you passionate about reaching out to those in need?
If so, you should consider taking up counselling yourself. It is sure to be a rewarding and satisfying career where you will be able to change the lives of many people for the better.
What qualifications do you need for a counsellor in the UK?
In the UK the following qualifications are recommended;
- Introduction to counselling. Make sure that these are accredited counselling courses.
- Certificate in counselling
- Minimum diploma level qualification in counselling
- You can then go on to study something like an Advanced Diploma for Psychotherapeutic Counselling if you choose.
Where Can You Study?
Global Edulink is a pioneering online education provider in the UK with a history of adherence to the highest quality and industry standards. We have an exceptional selection of accredited counselling courses in London that can help you in your career journey.
Our counselling qualification programs include;
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