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Hate Crime

Information and resources regarding hate crimes and bias

The U.S. Department of Justice defines hate crime as “the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.”

Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws against hate crimes. This means that if bias is involved, a crime such as vandalism, assault, or murder is also a hate crime, and the penalty is more severe than it would be otherwise.

People commit hate crimes for many reasons:

  • They are ignorant about people who are different from themselves (and terrified of the difference)
  • They need to be able to look down on others in order to compensate for their own low self-esteem
  • They have been brutalized themselves (though not by their victims) and therefore see brutalizing others as fair game.

Hate crime is a serious societal problem: the FBI reported 7,722 incidents of hate crimes in 2006, of which about 52 percent were directed at people because of their race; 19 percent, because of the victims’ religion; 16 percent because of their sexual orientation; and 13 percent because of their ethnicity or national origin.

Information about Hate Crime

Strategies for Preventing Hate Crime
Techniques adults can use to prevent hate crime in their communities

How Parents Can Teach Kids About Diversity
Information for parents on talking to kids about diversity

Tolerance for Teens
Facts for teens about hate crime and what to do about it

Activities and Lesson Plans for Kids in Grades 1 - 5
These activities were created by teachers and reviewed by teachers, principals, law enforcement officers, and community members to ensure their quality and effectiveness.

Products and Publications on Hate Crime

Positive Change Through Policy
This guide features examples of policies that schools, localities, and states across the United States have implemented to create safer communities.

Programs on Hate Crime

Teens, Crime, and the Community
Teens, Crime, and the Community is a program that believes smarter youth make safer communities.

Downloadable Resources on Hate Crime

Title Description Size
File Law Enforcement, Race, and Reconciliation A 28-page report on the state of Washington's efforts to improve relations between law enforcement and minorities 1.1 MB
File Putting a Stop to Hate Crime A one-page PDF document about what adults and young people can do to stop hate crime 1.8 MB
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