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Hate Crime Resources
  • Statements from National Affinity Bars

  • What is a Hate Crime

  • Reporting a Hate Crime

  • Pro Bono Legal Services & Community Education

  • Additional Resources

  • National Bar Associations


 

“We call on lawyers across the country and our elected officials to denounce and take action against this hate… As diverse bar associations, we have a unique opportunity to serve as voices for individuals and communities who are targeted based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, immigration status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The recent increase in reported hate crimes is a salient reminder that we must work together to speak out against hate in all forms.”


 

 What is a Hate Crime and Bias Incident

A hate crime occurs when a person or group of persons commits a criminal act, such as an assault or vandalism, with the added element of bias against the victim's actual or perceived membership in a protected class. 

Under federal law, a hate crime is when a person willfully causes bodily injury, or attempt to do so using a dangerous weapon, because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person. See 18 U.S.C. 249. The bias motivation does not need to be the primary motivation for the crime.

Federal law also protects interference with housing rights, damage to religious property or interference with the exercise of religion, and the exercise of a federally protected activity or other right granted by law or the Constitution. See 42 U.S.C. 3631; 18 U.S.C. 241, 245, 247.

The protected classes and penalties vary from state to state and five states (Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana, Arkansas, and Wyoming) do not have any hate crimes laws. Please refer to the state and local laws in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.

The FBI tracks and compiles these incidents and offers technical support for law enforcement officials to encourage more accurate reporting.

 Many community-based organizations also track cases of harassment or bias even where no criminal act occurs, commonly referred to as bias incidents. Although not criminal in nature, these incidents significantly impact individuals and communities and may require intervention.

Resources:


 

Reporting a Hate Crime

Any individual who has been a victim of a hate crime or has witnessed a hate crime should report these incidents to their local police department first.

In addition to local police, incidents should be reported to local FBI field office and state attorney general's office.

  • View state specific information compiled by Muslim Advocates here.
  • Find your regional FBI office here.
    • Learn about the FBI's hate crime reporting process and statistics here.

Sharing Stories

  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice AAJC is collecting stories of hate directed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders here They have also created the a tracker for hate crimes against Asian Americans here.
  • Muslim Advocates is monitoring incidents impacting the Muslim community and submissions can be sent in here.

  • The Sikh Coalition is monitoring incidents impacting or targeting members of the Sikh American community here.

  • South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) is collecting submissions of xenophobic rhetoric, harassment, and profiling against South Asian, Sikh, Muslim, and Arab communities here.

  • Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is collecting submissions of hateful intimidation and harassment incidents here

 

Pro Bono Legal Services & Community Education

Community based organizations are often the first point of contact by victims of hate crimes and hate incidents. Many of these organizations have built expertise to work with communities, but are seeking attorneys to assist victims on a pro bono basis. Additionally, many of these organizations have culturally appropriate and in-language resources and seek volunteers to distribute them and educate communities about their rights and reporting processes.

  • Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
    AALDEF is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all. 
    • Contact AALDEF for legal assistance at 1-800-966-5946 or through their website here.

  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
    CAIR is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. 
    • View list of regional offices here.

  • Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
    Fights to promote and ensure fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of elimination homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
    • View resources and list of regional offices here.
  • Human Rights Campaign
    A national civil rights and advocacy organization devoted to achieving equal rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people. 
    •  View resources and list of regional offices here.
  • Lambda Legal
    A national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
    •  View resources and list of regional offices here.


Additional Resources

Government Agencies

  • Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS): CRS acts as a “peacemaker” for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. CRS works with police chiefs, mayors, school administrators, other local and state authorities, community-based organizations, and
    civil and human rights groups.
    • Find your regional CRS office here.
    • Explore information for religious groups here.
  • Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC): OVC is committed to enhancing the Nation's capacity to assist crime victims and to provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. View more information here.
  • Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL): CRCL supports the Department of Homeland Security's mission to secure the nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law. View more information here.

Mental Health

  • National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA):  NAAPIMHA’s mission is to promote the mental health and well being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
    • View resource information here.

  • National Organization for Victim Assistance:  The national victim assistance organization that provides resources, assistance and support for victims harmed by crime and crisis. 
    •  Call 1-800-TRY-NOVA (879-6682).
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential, 24/7 support for people in distress, as well as provides crisis resources and best practices for professionals.
    • Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline: SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
    • Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • Victim Connect Resource Center: Victim Connect is a place for victims of crime to share their stories with specialists and learn about their rights and options confidentially and compassionately. They serve victims of any crime in the United States through online chat or phone.
    •  Call 1-855-4VICTIM (84-2846).

Bullying

Post-election, children are being subjected to bullying in many different forms at school at troubling rate.

  • Muslim Advocates sent letters to the highest school officials in every state reminding them of their legal obligation to protect children of all backgrounds.The letters for each state are available for community members to download and send to their schools and school districts here.

  • White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders list of resources on bullying can be viewed here.

  • U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR): OCR works to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.
    • Find your regional OCR office here.
    • File a complaint online for bullying or harassment of students here.
    • Explore data on education-related civil rights incidents here.  
    • Download in-language resources here

 

National Bar Associations