Stop the Hate: Victim Support and Advocacy

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This past week there was a Stop the Hate: Victim Support and Advocacy seminar focusing on victim support and advocacy in context with hate-crimes and biased-incidences.

“Stop the Hate is a program to help educate students and faculty on campus about the difference between hate-crime and bias-incidents and how to report them. The goal of this section was to talk about how to identify a victim along with how to be an ally to those victims and the importance of doing this [being an ally],” senior criminal justice major Tyler Hammol said.

The interactive seminar began by identifying the differences between hate-crimes and biased-incidents. There are more similarities than differences between hate-crimes and bias-incidents, such as both are events when someone is victimized based on their race, gender, sexual-orientation, etc., and both cause harm to their victims.

The main difference between hate-crimes and biased-incidents is the severity of the situation. The seminar informed the audience that both are very serious, need to be reported and that helping victims of these crimes can be difficult.

The seminar later focused on practical information about how to help people who have experienced hate-crimes and/or biased-incidents. Generally, a victim has three needs: to be safe, to be heard and to be informed.

“I learned a lot more like what can you do if someone is in that situation,” junior criminal justice major Marisa Sulva said.

The presenter stressed that simply hearing what the victim has to say is a big part of being an ally and a good way to meaningfully help that person. The seminar also explored a number of scenarios and the first step of those scenarios was to assess the injuries of the victim.

The presenter explained that there are generally three types of injuries: physical, emotional and financial. The most difficult injury to attend to is emotional, for the same reason that the victims need to be heard is the hardest to satisfy.

The job of being a victim’s ally is trying to figure out the unique needs of each victim. This seminar was a way to teach the campus how to satisfy these unique needs and how to address those unique injuries.

Stop the Hate there will hold summer training sessions.

“I think it’s important that we get students trained on campus because it’s a lot easier to hear these [Stop the Hate sessions] from another fellow student,” Hammol said.

To report a bias-incident you can either file a bias-incident report or to report a hate-crime call the Platteville police.

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