A hate crime is a criminal act of violence or hostility directed at someone because of who they are or who someone thinks they are. For example, if someone is attacked because they are (or they are perceived to be) gay, this is a hate crime. Hate crimes are motivated by prejudice, hatred or bias and can be due to someone’s race, nationality, religion, skin colour, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity or disability.
What should I do if I experience a hate crime?
If you experience abuse or violence of any kind it can be extremely distressing and take a toll on both your physical and mental health. It is important to remember that such behaviour is illegal and that you do not deserve to experience any sort of hate in your life and that none of what you are experiencing is your fault.
If you are experiencing hate crime:
- Report it where it happened (eg. public transport, your school, a shop, online)
- Report it to the Gardaí
- Speak to someone you trust about what you are experiencing
- Speak to a mental health professional if it is taking a toll on your mental health
- Visit a GP if you have experienced physical abuse
- Speak to victim support organisations
- Get in touch with your local community organisation or organisation working with the affected community (i.e. Traveller organisation, a migrant support organisation, LGBT organisation, disability rights organisation etc.)
Reporting hate crimes to the Gardaí
If you experience/witness a hate crime you should report it to An Garda Síochánna, either Emergency Services (999) or your local Garda station. If you feel that you haven’t been taken seriously when you speak to the Gardaí you can ask to speak to the Diversity Officer who should be better able to assist you.
You can learn more about the process of reporting a hate crime, what happens next, the investigation process and victims’ rights in the ENAR Responding to Racism Guide.
Other Gardaí helplines you can contact are:
- Garda Victim Service Office – 01 6663 880/363 or email [email protected]
- The Garda National Diversity and Integration Unit (GNDIU) on 01 6663150 if you experience racist abuse
- Every Garda Station also has an LGBT Liason Officer and Ethnic Liaison Officer
- Illegal content online (including websites, blogs, emails, social media content etc.) can be reported to Hotline.ie which is run by the Gardaí
If you experience a hate crime online you should block the person immediately and report them to the online platform you experienced the abuse on
Who can support me if I experience a hate crime?
If you experience a hate crime there are supports that can help you.
Support for people with disability
Supports for people experiencing racism
- ENAR Ireland
- Doras Luimní (Limerick)
- The Immigrant Council of Ireland
- Pavee Point or any local Traveller organisation
- Crime Victims Helpline on Freephone 116006
- NASC- Irish Immigrant Support Service (Cork)
Report racist incidents to iReport.ie