CSA has been involved with United for a Hate Free San Diego. They believe in honor and respect for the diversity that makes San Diego County one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. This diversity boasts a rich and varied cultural heritage that must be protected. Therefore, when an act of hate is committed against any person, it is considered an act against the entire community. United for a Hate Free San Diego is a declaration by the residents of San Diego County to honor and respect the diversity of San Diego while strongly opposing any hate-motivated behavior and all other forms of discrimination. In 2009, CSA participated in the second annual Hate Crime Summit hosted by United for a Hate Free San Diego. (Hate Crime Summit and photo Click Here). For more information visit http://www.hatefreesandiego.org/
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is any offense committed against you or your property because of who you are, or who someone believes you to be, based on race, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation.
Anyone can be a victim of a hate crime; it does not matter if you are attacked because someone thinks you are Native American, or Muslim or gay. You may or may not be. It is still a hate crime.
Many incidents are hateful but do not qualify as a hate crime. We still want to know this is happening, to support you, and if appropriate (and with your permission) alert law enforcement. They keep records on hate incidents that assists them in building a case against individuals or groups that engage in hate behavior. Hate crimes are like domestic violence or child abuse: the behavior can escalate through time and become life threatening.
Why Do People Perpetrate Hate Crimes?
There are many reasons for this terrible behavior. Racist, xenophobic, or homophobic ideology, hatred of women, and mental illness are certain contributors in many cases. But the purpose behind hate crimes is often to terrorize an entire community or group of people. For instance an attack on one gay man, or on a Black teenager, is an attack on the entire gay and lesbian community or the entire Black community. The ultimate reason for the attack might be to drive a certain group out of a community or to start “a race war.”
What Should You Do If You Are a Victim of a Hate Crime?
The District Attorney’s Office of the County of San Diego recommends the following:
- If you are seriously injured, call 9-1-1or go to the hospital immediately
- Whether or not you are injured, report the crime.
- To help yourself, it is important to do at least some of the following :
- see a doctor to treat and document even minor injuries
- take pictures of injuries or damage to property
- let the police see and photograph vandalism before cleaning or repairing damage
- get the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses if possible
- write down as many of the facts as you can remember (you may not remember everything immediately
- seek emotional support from a therapist
- record the names of police and others working on your case and keep in touch with them
- check police reports for accuracy and inform the police of inaccuracies or omissions
- attend court hearing, whether or not your are called as a witness, including arraignments, bail hearings, and sentencing
- testify in court if appropriate
At CSA San Diego County, our organization and staff have been the victims of hate crimes. One year we withstood an attack by the KKK against us during our annual dinner. Members of our staff have been personally threatened and their property invaded and vandalized. WE have been there!
Call us for support during the process of recovery. Do not go through this alone!
Call (619) 444-5700 or (800) 954-0441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org