Hate Crime Awareness Week 9-16 October 2021
My name is Noah and my pronouns are he/him. I was pretty unaware of what Victim Support did before I was referred to them. To my surprise, they actually do a lot. Did you know they anonymously log hate crime so you don’t have to talk to the police? This means it still gets logged in the statistics so the powers that be can realise how big an issue hate crime is? I was never pushed to go to the police or do anything I was uncomfortable doing. I was offered support including a weekly call from my caseworker.
Building trust with my caseworker took a bit of time, but it blossomed and my sessions went from being a new experience to being something I looked forward to. This support was so fundamental in supporting me going through what was happening. They gave me advice on my rights, listened to me talk about things and provided that rock to anchor me in the storm by being there. If my caseworker wasn’t available, I was able to call the office and speak to someone else.
I cried a number of times when calling the office and no one ever judged me for it, they just cared and that meant so much. I wasn’t a number in a system, I was a person and that feeling is thanks to the genuinely good staff at Victim Support. Everything is confidential and that meant I could trust them. Over time I got more used to talking and trusting them and that is why I can now represent and say I can recommend Victim Support because I have seen how much good they can do for victims of hate crime.
I know it can be scary, traumatic and make you feel alone when you are a victim of hate crime. Many people still don’t understand it and that can lead to hate crime being belittled or you being told to “just get over it”. Victim Support understand hate crime. They are able to empathise and would never belittle what you have been through or how you feel. They do not judge, they listen. You tell them how you feel and they accept you are the one who knows you best. Victim Support can be there to assist you to inform the police or they are totally accepting if you don’t want the police involved. You will receive no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable with.
Finally, remember they do not target you with hate because you deserve it. You don’t deserve it. You are an amazing, unique, valid person who deserves to live without hate. Hold your head up high and be proud of your identity.
Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t suffer alone because there is support out there. Please contact Victim Support. They are there for you.
Earlier this year we met Noah and Victim Support Cymru who told us more about the invaluable support they provide:
Hate has no home here in Wales. We want to make Wales a safe place where everyone is free to be themselves. Hate crimes are a very real threat to people in this country and we’re working to end this.
In the year ending March 2021, Home Office statistics showed there were over 124,000 hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales. The number of hate crimes reported have continued to rise each year since records began.
This is an important week to raise awareness. It is an opportunity to reflect and remember those whose lives have been lost, and provide information and support to those who need it.
If you are a victim of hate crime, please call 999 in an emergency or contact Victim Support Wales on 0300 3031 982. They can provide free, independent, confidential advice and support.
We encourage people who have experienced or witness Hate Crime to report what has happened to the Police, or to a Third Party Reporting Centre like the National Hate Crime Report and Support Centre Wales.
“It is so important that your voice is heard and to know that you are not alone. Everyone has the right to feel safe to be who they are.”Jess, Victim Support Wales