What Is a Hate Crime and How Can It Affect Me?

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A hate crime can be committed against another person or property. It is a type of crime committed due to prejudice or hostility of the perpetrator towards the victim’s disability, religion or belief, ethnicity or race, sexual orientation, or transgender identity.

Anyone can be a hate crime victim. In fact, you don’t have to belong to the group that is the target of the hostility. A hate incident is not the same as a hate crime, although it may feel the same to the victim of a hate incident. After all, the incident is also based on a person’s prejudice over another person’s disability, religion, race, or sexual orientation. In many cases, a hate incident escalates into a crime or tension within the community. This is why such incidents are a matter of concern for the police, although no crime has been committed.

Effects of Hate Crimes

Because people are different, hate crimes affect them in various ways as well. It is important to remember, however, that any change that happens in how you feel may be due to the traumatic experience that you have experienced.

The fact that you know the act was deliberately done by another person makes the crime difficult to cope with. The perpetrator of a hate crime does it with the intention of causing some kind of harm on another, unlike an illness or an accident.

A victim typically experiences the effects of a hate crime for a long period of time, and it is not dependent on the severity of the crime. There are people who can cope very well with different types of horrifying crimes. On the other hand, some people can be extremely distressed even by a less horrific incident.

Following are some effects of experiencing a hate crime:

  • Anger or feeling upset or other strong emotions – You may become too emotional after experiencing a hate crime, and these strong emotions can result in making you more confused and unsettled. You may also feel upset, angry, or afraid. However, as mentioned, people have different reactions to crime.
  • Things falling apart – You may find things suddenly falling apart for you. Initially, you may feel quite normal, but things may quickly begin to fall apart in no time.
  • Manifestation of physical symptoms – Like some people, you may show physical symptoms like feeling ill or lack of sleep.
  • Blaming yourself – You may blame yourself for what happened, and think that you might have avoided it by having done things differently. A lot of victims either blame themselves or feel quite embarrassed to come forward and seek help. It is therefore important to keep in mind that it wasn’t your fault.
  • Long-term concerns – A hate crime may cause you to develop long-term problems like depression, anxiety, and other related illnesses. Many victims don’t experience long-term harm, although some short-term effects can be quite severe. Sometimes, victims develop long-term concerns like anxiety-related disorders, and some people have an extreme, long-lasting reaction after a hate crime (also known as PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder)

Final Word

A hate crime can have serious repercussions for the victim, and for the perpetrator as well. If you find yourself as the perpetrator of such a crime, Robert A. Dodell, Attorney At Law, can assist you with a legal defense. This way, you can be sure that your rights are well-protected at all times.