Supporting a survivor of hate can be daunting especially when it is someone close to you and you are worried about saying or doing "the wrong thing." You don't have to be an expert to support someone but there are some really simple things you can do that will help.
Listen and Believe
- Listen. If someone discloses an experience of hate to you, listening to what they tell with no judgment, compassion and empathy can be incredibly helpful. Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help.
- Believe. Rather than asking a lot of questions, just let them know that you believe them and will support them as best as you can. Try not to skip ahead to what to do practically without first validating what you have heard and listening to what they have to say.
- Reassure. Remind them that no one, regardless of relationship or status, has the right to hurt them and that no matter what, it is not their fault that this occurred.
- Give Options. You can simply ask them what they need or want. They might not make the same decision you would; however, only they can decide what is best for them. You can help them explore options but avoid telling them what they should do.
Signpost to Specialist Services
There is lots of specialist support available both within the University and externally that your friend or loved one can access for support in the aftermath of hate.
- Stop Hate UK provides independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims, witnesses and third parties.
- Citizens Advice provides some useful information on the different types of harassment and hate crime people may experience including disability hate crime, racist and religious hate crime, and sexual orientation and transgender identity hate crime.
- True Vision offers guidance on reporting hate crime and hate incidents. If you do not wish to talk to anyone in person about the incident or wish to remain anonymous, there is an online form for reporting hate crime; you can report non-crime hate incidents to the police to try and prevent any escalation in seriousness.
- Greater Manchester Victims’ Services website provides useful information and practical advice for victims and survivors of crime, and their families. You can use it to find help, regardless of when the crime happened, or whether or not you reported it to the police.
- Manchester LGBT Foundation has a number of groups covering a wide section of the LGBT community which meet at the Community Resource Centre on Richmond Street in Manchester.
- Galop is an LGBT+ anti-violence charity who support people who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse. They also support lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.
- Disability Equality NW runs the Developing from the Negatives Project (DFN) which aims to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime and encourage reporting.
- Tell MAMA supports victims of anti-Muslim hate and is a public service which also measures and monitors anti-Muslim incidents.
- Community Security Trust (CS) helps those who are victims of anti-Semitic hatred, harassment or bias.
It is important to respect any decision they may take in regards to reporting including a decision not to report at all. There are a lot of reasons why someone may choose not to report, only they can decide what is best for them.
- Police. To report a crime you can call 101 or visit your local police station to report a crime. Reporting is a big decision and all of the support services linked to above can support you with this, if your friend or loved one decides to make a police report.
- University. If the perpetrator is a member of the University community, your friend or loved one will have the option of submitting a formal report. The first step to making a formal report is to speak with an advisor, who will be able to provide your friend or loved one with advice and support on what options are available to make an informed decision.