New Anti-Hate Reporting Hotline Launches
Have you or someone you know been a victim of bullying or a hate motivated crime/act?
By dialing 2-1-1, you can now file a report as a victim, witness, or advocate for a victim of hate crimes, hate acts, or bullying as a part of a new Anti-Hate Campaign that launched September 1st.
The Anti-Hate Campaign is a collaboration led by the Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS ) and the LA County Commission on Human Relations in partnership with 211 LA to launch a countywide system for reporting acts of hate and bullying.
What Can be Reported?
2-1-1 takes reports (by phone or online) of hate crimes, hate acts, and incidents of bullying which have occurred within Los Angeles County; regardless of whether or not a crime has been committed.
A hate crime is defined as a criminal offense where there is evidence that bias, hatred, or prejudice based on a victim’s real or perceived race/ethnicity, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation is a substantial motivating factor in the commission of the offense.
A hate act (or hate incident) is a non-criminal act that involves bias, hatred, or prejudice based on a victim’s real or perceived race/ethnicity, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation is a substantial motivating factor.
Bullying is an act of verbal or physical aggression with an imbalance of power between perpetrator and targeted student that is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated again and again.
Why Are these Reports Being Collected?
Hate crimes are on the rise. According to the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, hate crimes have been steadily increasing since 2013. There was a 5 percent increase from 2016 to 2017 and when comparing 2013 to 2017 there is a 32% rise.
There is also evidence that incidents of hate very frequently go unreported. The U.S. Department of Justice has identified that 54% of hate-motivated incidents, including hate crimes, were not reported to law enforcement during 2011-2015. These incidents many times are not reported because the incident was not considered important enough to report, there was nothing the police could do to help, or there was a fear that reporting the incident would cause trouble for the victim.
The LA County Board of Supervisors recognized the increase in hate crimes, hate violence and bullying in schools, and the challenges individuals face in reporting these incidents, and called for the development of an easy way to report such hate violence and bullying so that victims and affected communities could be assisted.
The development of the 211 hate-incident reporting hotline establishes a centralized method across Los Angeles County for community members to report acts of hate and bullying. The collection of these reports will increase data on what kind of hate incidents are occurring in Los Angeles, where they are happening, and what populations are being targeted. With this information, a network of service providers will be able to target prevention and intervention efforts to reduce hate in the hardest hit Los Angeles’ communities.
How Do these Reports Help You? By filing a report a 211 LA Community Resource Advisor will be able to provide you or your client social service referrals, and with permission share reported information to aid in future prevention efforts. Reporters will also be offered optional follow up from a 211 Care Coordinator to help you connect with support services. Reports may be filed anonymously and are not shared with law enforcement.
211 Community Resource Advisors are available 24 hours, 7 days a week, can take reports in any language, and are prepared to offer available services for any situation. Information and referrals are available for a wide range of needs, including crime victim support/compensation, counseling, legal aid, discrimination assistance, education, and crime prevention.
The official campaign rollout will begin later this year, but in the meantime 211 LA will be doing direct outreach to schools that are participating in the County’s Community Schools Initiative, and other schools and community organizations, to spread awareness of the resource to some of the most at-risk populations for being targeted by acts of hate and bullying.
To learn more about how to file a report or what related resources are available in your area, call 2-1-1.