Hate Violence

The hate violence is an act motivated by prejudice or hatred directed against a person, group, their property, values and way of life. It is a symbolic attack against an individual because of his or hers membership to a particular group. The motive for the incident is a group characteristic of the assaulted, which cannot be changed or it is not fair to require this change. Often, it can also be the fact that the assaulted is in a vulnerable or disadvantaged position against the perpetrator (is physically weaker, is in a position of dependence, has the disadvantage due to language barriers or social status). The attack is not based on the perpetrator’s experience with the particular person, but on his or hers hatred towards the group that the victim represents.

In the Czech Republic many attacks are directed against the Roma community. Nevertheless, the members of other ethnic and national minorities are becoming victims of these attacks as well. Just as the origin and skin color are the common denominator of hate incidents, religious affiliation, sexual identity, health status, belonging to a subculture or a social group can also serve as a pretext for attack.

Hate incidents can take various forms. These include verbal attacks and insults (whose social impact is underestimated), graffiti, intimidation, threats or extortion, property damage, sexual assaults, arson attacks, physical assault and murder.

Not all hate incidents are treated as a criminal offense. It depends on the jurisdictions of individual states to define what intensity the incident must reach to be a criminal offense under the criminal law. In IUSTITIA organization promotes a broader concept of hate violence, which includes action outside the criminal law, but which fundamentally affects the atmosphere of the society in which the incidents occur.

Another concept which we are trying to correct, is linking the hate incidents only with the activities of far-right organizations. The so-called extremist violence, according to domestic and foreign research, accounts for only 10-20% of all recorded criminal cases. In case of hate violence, these are not extraordinary incidents, which people tend to only if they are members of such movements, but on the contrary, they are happening across all age, social and cultural groups.

This situation is further enhanced by the expressions of some of local politicians who, with their populist speeches and actions, increase the society’s tendency to underestimate the severity of hate violence and who seek radical solutions, which play into the hands of the abovementioned far-right groups.

People exposed to hate violence often refuse to report the incidents and deal with them in public. For many of the victims, repeated discussions in court and media coverage of the case, are not the right way. The reason for this may be also the fact that – just as in the case of other forms of violence – often, even there the guilt of the perpetrator is relativized by the law enforcement and the public. They seek the co-responsibility of the victim and the motives which provoked him or her.

Hate incidents, specified by the symbolic motivation of the perpetrator, assault not only the life, safety and dignity of a specific individual, but also the community which the individual represents. More broadly, it threatens other communities who are potentially exposed to hate violence (Roma - Vietnamese, Jews - Muslims) and last but not least, the peaceful coexistence of the whole society.

In IUSTITIA


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Were you attacked because of:
- your ethnic or national origin
- your religious belief
- your sexual orientation, gender identity
- your affiliation to a social group?

Was the attack in a form of:
- verbal abuse
- property damage
- intimidation, threats or blackmail
- sexual assault
- arson
- physical assault
- homicide?

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- to file a complaint
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- to assign a claim for damages
- to look for non-legal ways how to cope with assaults

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