Hate Crime- psychological support
Problem we want to address is loss of confidence, emotional resilience and growing sense of victimisation, which in turn result in isolation, declining mental health and negative outcomes for social integration among Eastern European (EE) communities that all stem from lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate emotional support services for EE victims of hate incidents.
Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, Polish and other EE members communities across the UK have become targets of hostile rhetoric from the populist media. That was followed by a wave of outward abuse in public transport, workplace, by neighbours, in schools.
In summer 2017 we asked our community members (328) about their experience of hate crime: 70% reported feeling unwelcome, 51% reported having experienced hate incidents in work or in private life. Only 25% of users were willing to report to the police.
Our outreach shows that Polish shops-keepers continue to endure hostilities including online trolling. Home Office Statistical Bulletin (October 2018) shows a consistent increase in number of incidents, with 14% increase between 2017 and 2018. At the same time, lack of resources for targeted support decreased a number of EE migrants confident to report.
Enquiries from victims come only if a person endured over 20 incidents and is at the breaking point. Online hate speech has become a norm, with around 90% of our constituents reporting ‘discomfort’ on social media.
What the project will do:
To increase understanding of what is (and isn’t) hate crime and speech through digital information campaign and local outreach activities
To increase emotional and psychological resistance to hate incidents (experienced and witnessed in family, friend and colleague groups) through Emotional Self-Defense workshops and individual counselling
To reduce negative psychological effects of trauma experienced in result of experiencing hate incident, and of anxiety induced as a result of persistent exposure to hate speech and hostility online through individual counselling
To improve confidence of victims and witnesses to report hate incidents to the police, relevant authorities and social media providers, in particular recurring incidents in workplace, neighbourhoods or online trolling, as a result of digital information campaign, local outreach materials, Self-Defense Workshops and individual counselling
To reduce risk of radicalisation of victims by improved victim support through referrals from police services, relevant authorities and mainstream third sector organisations
To improve understanding of experience of hate incidents by local/regional police services and relevant authorities through feedback from victims, witnesses and concerned community members provided to regional policing / community safety networks and Home Office
The project targets Eastern Europeans living and working in the three large regions of England: Greater London, West Midlands and Greater Manchester. Our particular focus is on those members of communities who: