A hate incident is any act, gesture or threat that is perceived by the victim or a witness to be motivated by hate. For lesbian, gay or bisexual people this is homophobic hate; for transgender individuals, this is transphobic hate. A hate incident does not necessarily have to qualify as a crime.
A stranger, housemate, family member, colleague, partner or neighbour can all demonstrate homophobic or transphobic behaviour and actions. This can have a direct impact on your safety, your property, your belongings, your children and your mental health.
Threats, violence, verbal abuse, intimidation, vandalism and damage, sexual assault and/or coercion are all ways you can be affected by homophobia/transphobia/biphobia, hate and discrimination whether it is coming from members of the public or your own family.
The Rainbow Project is a partner organisation of the Hate Crime Advocacy Service Northern Ireland. The Hate Crime Advocacy Service (HCAS) offers a safe and confidential space to provide support to victims of hate and signal crimes across the different protected characteristics. We can support you whether or not you have reported the crime to the police.
The service accepts referrals from all agencies and self-referrals. Interpreters across a wide range of languages are available upon request. It is delivered through a consortium of advocacy organisations, including:
- Victim Support NI
- Leonard Cheshire
- Migrant Centre NI
The advocates can act as a liaison between you and the criminal justice agencies that you may become involved in the aftermath of a crime. We want to increase your confidence in the criminal justice system so that you are certain when reporting your experiences, that they will be taken seriously. Our goal is to reduce barriers and improve access to the criminal justice system.
Of course, we always encourage reporting hate crimes and incidents to the police. However, you do not have to officially report a crime to avail of our services. Our support is tailored to you and your needs – each step of the way.
You can contact Jake Ferris, Advocacy Officer
Telephone: 02890 319030