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What is Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services?

Bristol Hate Crime & Discrimination Services is a partnership of six organisations:

Stand Against Racism & Inequality

Stand Against Racism & Inequality are the race, faith and hate crime expert. They also coordinate the partnership.

Brandon Trust

Brandon Trust specialise in supporting disabled people and tackling disability hate crime.

Bristol Mind

Bristol Mind supports victims of disability hate crime due to their mental health, and promotes better mental health for all.

Off The Record

Off the Record support young people aged 16-24 who have been victims of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime.

Bristol Law Centre

Bristol Law Centre help people with complex cases involving the law.

Resolve West

Resolve West are able to resolve conflict and repair harm when the parties are willing to communicate.

This partnership aims to offer a complete service for victims of hate crime and discrimination within Bristol. The partnership, and the work it carries out, is funding by Bristol City Council's Impact Fund.

What is hate crime?

A crime is an act which breaks the law. A crime becomes a hate crime when it is motivated by hostility or prejudice toward a protected characteristic. This could be your:

  • Ethnicity or race
  • Disability (including mental health issues)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion or belief
  • Age
  • Gender

It's possible to be the victim of hate crime because someone thinks you belong to a certain group. For example – you may be insulted on the street because someone thinks you are gay. That would be a homophobic hate crime – even if you are actually straight.

Hate crime can be many offences, but is most often a physical attack, name calling or verbal abuse. It could also include:

  • threats, harassment or intimidation.
  • offensive gestures, humiliation or degradation.
  • vandalism or criminal damage to your property.
  • offensive letters, leaflets, or graffiti.
  • abusive emails, texts, phone calls or other forms of cyber-bullying.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination can happen in the workplace. It can also occur in other places such as schools and higher education, housing, shops and businesses, services, and private clubs or associations. Discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy or marital status is against the law.

Age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy or marital status are called 'protected characteristics' in law.

Discrimination can come in the following forms:

Direct discrimination
Treating someone with protected characteristic less favourably in comparison with others.

Indirect discrimination
Putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.

Unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone's dignity or creates an offensive environment for them.

Treating someone unfairly because they've complained about discrimination or harassment.

Caseworker completing paperwork
Caseworker taking phone call
Caseworker using computer

How can I report it?

You can report hate crime and discrimination using our online form.

We aim to contact you about your referral within 5 working days.

You can also speak to someone in person by calling us on freephone 0800 171 2272.

You should report all hate crime and discrimination, whether you’re the victim, a witness, or you are making the report for someone else.

We would also encourage you to report hate crime or discrimination to any other relevant organisation, including (but not limited to):

  • your housing association.
  • your local council.
  • your school, college or university.
  • your workplace or union.

If you—or someone else—is in immediate danger, always call the police on 999.

What support will I receive?

BHCDS offers a support service for victims of hate crime that is free and confidential.

  • We can support you to cope with the emotional, physical and mental trauma caused by
    hate crime.
  • We can work with you to look at your options for taking action to resolve your case.
  • We can work with statutory and voluntary agencies on your behalf, to encourage them to take action, to get updates, and to ensure that they do the right thing.
  • We can support you through legal proceedings relating to your case.
  • We can help you make complaints against other agencies.
  • We can make referrals to other services you need.

Your caseworker will work with you and on your behalf to get the best outcome for you.

Caseworker smiling at client
Clients talking with caseworker
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