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68% of British Columbians don’t think reporting hate crimes would make a difference: survey

Amidst a rise of hate crimes, the human rights office of B.C. intends to implement new strategies

Seventy-two per cent of hate incidents in B.C. don’t go reported, according to the latest survey from the Human Rights Commission – leading to calls for new strategies focused on creating safer spaces for victims to report, and more accountability for perpetrators.

According to the survey, released Wednesday (June 8), 68 per cent of the 2,600 respondents said that reporting a hate crime wouldn’t make a difference.

“Clearly, new strategies are needed to deal with the experience of hate incidents,” said Commissioner Kasari Govender.

In the news release, Govender said,“people who experience hate need to feel that they have somewhere safe to turn to seek support, and we need mechanisms in place to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Without safe and credible responses and supports, we risk sending the message that hate is okay in our society and allowing it to flourish.”

Other notable statistics that were found in the survey include: 38 per cent of people witnessed or experienced a hate incident for the first time after the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, 56 per cent of people believe that the increase in hate crimes is due to the normalization of hate crimes both online, and in person in other areas, and The vast majority of the participants claimed that the perpetrators were white men between the ages of 25 and 65.

The final report and recommendations will be released in early 2023.

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