The theme for HMD 2016 Don't stand by provides an opportunity for everyone to consider the role we as individuals can play in standing up to intolerance, prejudice and hate where we see it taking place today. As part of the HMD 2016 microsite dontstandby.hmd.org.uk we are featuring three examples of contemporary hate crime taken from the experiences of people living in the UK today.
Here Pete shares his experience of suffering a hate crime on the basis of his disability and also explains how he reacted and moved forward with the help of Disability Equality North West.
'I work as a volunteer helping people to report disability hate crime because I think it is important that people report it to get it to stop.
When I became a victim of disability hate crime I didn’t report it because I was only thinking about the effect on me, not about other people. I am glad that the staff at Disability Equality NW persuaded me to report it in the end.
I was walking through town one day to look around the market, I actually felt really good that day and had been able to walk and not need my mobility scooter.
I was approached by a group of four young people who asked me for money. When I said no they turned on me. The first one called me a Retard before one of his friends pushed me to the ground.
At the time I was in shock and it made me tearful, I don’t like to think about the word they called me. It had a big impact on me, for a while it stopped me from going out. I can go out now but I am very wary of strangers and am no longer as outgoing as I was.'
Laura Geraghty from Disability Equality NW:
Pete volunteers for Disability Equality NW on the hate crime project known as Developing from the Negatives.
The project which focuses on disability hate crime encourages people to report hate crime through a third party reporting centre. It also provides practical and emotional support to those affected.
To encourage peer support and raise awareness of reporting hate crime we host regular afternoon tea support sessions which explore key issues around hate crime such as public transport and social media. We also deliver a lot of sessions raising awareness of hate crime and the social model of disability.
This year’s theme for Holocaust Memorial Day Don’t stand by fits perfectly with the work we do as we encourage everyone to report or tell someone if they are affected by hate crime.
We are organising a number of activities including a film viewing, a presentation on disability hate crime and an activity at the local museum. Holocaust Memorial Day will also be the theme for the Disability Equality NW AGM.
To find out more about the work we do please visit our website: www.disablity-equality.org.uk
- Disability Equality North West - Action against Hate Crime
- Disability Rights UK has produced a series of Let’s Stop Disability Hate Crime guides which can be found here: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/independent-living/stop-disability-hate-crime