Hate Crime or Hate Incidents
A hate crime is a criminal act against a person or his/her property targeted because
of that person’s real or perceived race, color, religion, nationality, country of
origin, disability, gender or sexual orientation. Under California law, for a crime
to be considered a hate crime, a number of specific criteria must all be met as
defined in the California Code. Federal law differs in certain respects from state
law. In California, for a crime to be considered a “hate crime” and for the penalty
enhancement provisions of the law to take effect, a prosecutor must prove that the
motivation of the perpetrator in committing the crime was bias against a person
or persons in a protected category, and that this bias was a “substantial factor”
(and not an incidental factor) in the crime. Hate incidents are considerably more
common on college campuses than hate crimes. Unlike hate crimes, there is no formal
legal definition for a hate incident. They are generally the same types of behaviors
and crimes as described above except that one or more of the formal legal criteria
described above are not met. Regardless, the victims tend to experience the same
range of emotions and benefit from the same level of caring response. When you are
aware that a student has experienced a hate incident or hate crime:
- When possible, see the student in private.
- Be aware that the student may be
experiencing a wide range of emotions including shame, anger, fear, and denial.
- Advise the student to contact the hate incident response coordinator (893-5016)
who serves as the hate crimes response coordinator for the campus.
- Inform the
student that the hate incident response coordinator (893-5016) will listen to the
student and will explain the full range of options available.
- Advise the student
that the hate incident response coordinator (893-5016) can refer the student to
specific law enforcement officers known for their sensitivity and knowledge about
these types of situations if the student wishes to report an incident that is also
- Advise the student that counseling is available through Counseling Services
- Advise the student that s/he may report the incident to the Office
of Equal Opportunity & Sexual Harassment/Title IX Compliance (893-2701) if the hate
incident is related to race, gender, religion, national origin or other protected
- Advise the student that s/he may report the incident to the Campus
- Try to explain or get caught up in the technical differences between a “hate
crime” and “hate incident.” These differences are generally immaterial to the feelings
being experienced by the student and his/her need for support and information. The
hate incident response coordinator can explain the technical difference between
these categories, and how the categorization of the incident will inform the set
of options available to the student.
- Minimize the situation or indiscriminately
share information about the crime or incident with others without the permission
of the student.
- Express personal biases.
For more information and to report a hate crime please go to: http://judicialaffairs.sa.ucsb.edu/Hate.aspx