Campaign calls for wider approach to hate crime

Victims should be able to report incidents based on more than one protected characteristic, says Citizens UK


Victims of hate crime should be able to report incidents on the basis of more than one protected characteristic — such as both gender and religion — according to a new report from community group Citizens UK.

Current hate crime legislation prevents victims from recording incidents under more than one category, even in the case of so-called intersectional antisemitic attacks, where more than one element drives the crime.

The report, which polled five focus groups and more than 1,000 respondents in England and Wales, found most respondents (84.1 per cent) said they support an intersectional approach.

The report also called for a change in the law to make gender-based targeting a hate crime.

One Jewish woman told the report she had been subjected to frequent antisemitic and sexual comments. She said: “In one of these incidents, I was walking down the street wearing my kippah when two men started to shout antisemitic abuse at me.

“One of the men then pinned me to the wall and told me if I wasn’t going to run his business for him, I should sleep with him instead,” she added.

She said she had heard hundreds of stories like her own during the campaign. “Those with intersecting identities, such as women of colour or people with disabilities, face even more harassment too,” she said. Reacting to the study, Danny Stone, chief executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust (APT), said Jewish women continue to experience a “dual attack, both for their race and their gender.

“Yet despite the major support for an intersectional approach to hate crime which this survey reveals, Jewish and other women are presently denied the opportunity to report this twin abuse nor see those that perpetrate it properly held to account for their actions.

“Intersectional approaches to hate crime will ensure we have national reporting services that are fit for purpose and that we will be better able to support the victims,” he added.

Research into the abuse directed at Jewish women in public life unveiled at the Sara Conference in 2018 found Jewish female MPs faced 15 per cent more online antisemitic abuse than their male counterparts.

The survey, conducted for APT and Community Security Trust, also found people were more likely to search for “Luciana Berger Jew” than “Luciana Berger policy”. Ms Berger is a former Labour MP who left the party over its institutional antisemitism.

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