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Hate crimes - Research Paper Example

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Title: Hate Crimes Hate Crimes 1. Introduction Hate crime is defined as a criminal offence that is committed against individuals who are perceived to belong to a certain type of group or community. These crimes might be based on bias against gender, religion, beliefs, race, political inclination or sexual orientation…
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Download file to see previous pages Hate crimes include a diverse range of activities, however they are all intended to cause harm and embarrassment to the victims; bullying, verbal abuse, physical attack, destruction of property of the victim and hate mail. The victims may constitute of individuals, organizations or institutions. 2. Hate Crimes in US The authorities began collecting data about hate crimes in the early years of the last decade of the past century. United States of America has been considered as a land of opportunity in the history of the world, therefore it would not be wrong to explain it as an amalgamation of multiple ethnicities, cultures, races and religions. There exist extensive rights for the freedom of speech and expression that has given birth to alternate lifestyles, i.e. homosexuality. LCCR Education fund (2009) pointed out that due to the increasing homosexuals in the society; hate crimes, initiated out of bias against sexual orientation, have increased significantly for the past few years. All of these aspects have caused an increase in the degree of hate crimes in the country. FBI (2009) reported 6,598 hate crimes for the year 2009; the different types of hate crimes are as follows: 48.5 % crimes were initiated out of racial bias. 19.7 % crimes were motivated by religious bias. 18.5 % crimes were recorded as a result of sexual orientation bias. 11.8 % crimes took place due to national and ethnic bias. 1.5 % crimes involved disability bias. Stotzer (2007) also provided some interesting figures regarding the minorities or groups in US that are commonly targeted in the region: 8 in 100,000 African Americans face hate crimes every year. 12 in 100,000 Muslims become victims of hate crimes every year. 15 in 100,000 Jews have been recorded as victims of hate crimes every year. 13 in 100,000 homosexuals become targets of hate crimes every year. Figure 1: Estimated Hate Crimes in every 100,000 people (Stotzer, 2007) These figures have been issued by FBI; however American Psychological Association (1998) stated that the correct statistics of hate crimes are not possible since numerous crimes are not even reported to the concerned authorities by the victims. Some of the reasons for such hesitancies include the consequences from the haters groups or criminals or the nature of the offense might not involve any physical harm or destruction of property. 3. Instances of Hate Crimes in History A massive scale of hate crimes initiated after the 11 September attacks in US in 2001. The terrorist acts killed thousands of innocent people and made even greater number of individuals victims of hate crimes in their daily lives. The individuals and communities who were made victims of the respective crimes in those days constituted of South Asians, Arabs and Muslims since the suspected terrorists belonged to those regions. African Americans have been made victims of hate crimes by having their churches burnt into ashes, bullied and harassed at numerous instances in the past history. 4. Effect of Hate Crimes on Individuals The victims are affected by hate crimes in differing ways. The duration and nature of the crime makes the experience different for the victims. Some of the affects are as follows: The victims feel vulnerable and insecure in the society as they start fearing for their own, as well as their family’s safety. The victims get suspicious of things and individuals around them, for example ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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