'Hate incidents' and 'hate crimes' are terms used to describe acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.
Hate incidents and hate crimes can be motivated by prejudice about:
- Race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality
- Religion and faith (or lack of religious belief)
- Gender or gender identity (including resentment of transgender people, transsexuals and transvestites and transphobia)
- Sexual orientation (including homophobia and biphobia)
- Disability (including physical disabilities, sensory impairments, learning disabilities, mental health issues and any other impairments)
A victim does not have to be a member of the group at which the hostility is targeted. For example, a person does not have to be a disabled person to be a victim of a disability hate incident. Neither does a person have to be gay to be a victim of a homophobic hate incident.
Hate incidents can be a one-off or part of an ongoing campaign of harassment or intimidation.
Hate incidents are not only carried out by strangers. They could be carried out by a carer, a neighbour, a teacher or someone considered a friend.