Who Is Under Threat?

The short answer is – everyone. Even though hate violence mostly targets the representatives of minorities, persons representing the ethnic, religious, sexual, cultural, language or other majority in the given area are threatened as well.  

No one shall be attacked for who they are. No one is entitled to any form of attack on another person due to the colour of their skin, their language or religion, the state of their health, their appearance or their politics. Hate violence is an irrational manifestation of intolerance; blaming the victims for causing the attack themselves is equally irrational. 

Although anyone can become the victim of hate violence, racial, ethnic and national minorities are generally threatened the most. In the Czech Republic, this concerns especially the Roma community – anti-Roma attacks appear in various forms, from verbal abuse to threats, physical assault and organized attempts to start a pogrom. In the years following 1989, racial hate has led to the murder of over twenty persons of Roma origin, including a little boy. Aside from the Roma, this threatened group also includes foreigners of a different skin colour or nationality (e.g. Vietnamese, Romanians or Ukrainians). Regardless of the legality of their residence in the Czech Republic, many foreigners are afraid to report hate incidents to the police: illegal residents fear possible deportation, legal residents still find it hard to overcome the language barrier and may have previously had bad experience with court authorities, both in the Czech Republic and in their own country of origin. 

In the Czech Republic, hate violence aimed against those practising a different religion affects especially Jewish and Muslim people; however, an attack motivated by hate towards another religion or atheism cannot be ruled out either. Anti-Semitism mostly manifests itself through attacks on synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and property; verbal abuse is common as well. As the members of the Czech Jewish community do not differ visually from the majority society, physical violence against Jewish people is not too common in the Czech Republic, especially in comparison with, for instance, France, Ukraine or Russia. The Muslim community in the Czech Republic includes both Czech nationals as well as foreigners and suffers mostly from verbal abuse and attacks on mosques. Hate attacks aimed at Muslim women wearing the traditional head cover, hijab, have been recorded as well. 

Sexual orientation and identity can also serve as pretext for hate violence. In this case, the attacks mostly target members of the LGBT community (lesbian, gay, transgender and transsexual persons); at the same time, however, an attack on a heterosexual person due to their sexual orientation cannot be ruled out either. Attacks on the LGBT community are characterized by a high latency caused by two factors: fear of authorities responsible for criminal proceedings, and the fact that at the moment of the attack, many victims are hiding their sexual orientation or identity from their surroundings. In addition to the trauma from the attack, these victims then also have to deal with the pressure of coming out. Unlike racial, ethnical and religious minorities, the LGBT community is not protected by Czech law, leading to the extreme vulnerability of any victim attacked due to their sexual orientation or identity. 

Yet another group threatened by hate violence are the representatives of subcultures (anarchists, punks, hip-hoppers, skaters), alternative young people and anti-Fascists, both revolutionary and democratic. Their appearance, as well as their differing political opinions, often leads to them being targeted by attackers affiliated with right-wing extremism. Most incidents aimed at this target group are never reported to the police and unless they are attacked for their political opinions, representatives of subcultures are not protected by the Criminal Code. 

The state of one’s health (both physical and mental), can also serve as a pretext for a hate attack. Persons with a mental handicap form one significantly threatened group, closely followed by those who are HIV-positive. These people are often subjected to verbal abuse as well as intimidation and blackmail, the attacker threatening to publicize the status of their health or reveal it to their family or employer. Those attacked for reason of health are not subjected to special protection, as are the victims of attacks motivated by race, religion or belonging to an ethnical or national minority.

Drug users are another group exposed to the threat of hate violence. Due to the negative perception of drug users in the society, this particular group is also characterized by an extreme latency in reporting incidents of hate violence. Yet another social group that may be targeted by hate violence are those who work in prostitution – both forced and those working of their own free will. Hate violence is also common in connection with homeless people. Over the past few years, hate violence against the homeless has reached a whole new level of brutality, often resulting in arson attacks. The access of the homeless to justice is very limited and they are often attacked repeatedly. Even so, only a fraction of them contact the police.

Yet another social group that may be targeted by hate violence are those who work in prostitution – both forced and those working of their own free will.

Hate violence is also common in connection with homeless people. Over the past few years, hate violence against the homeless has reached a whole new level of brutality, often resulting in arson attacks. The access of the homeless to justice is very limited and they are often attacked repeatedly. Even so, only a fraction of them contact the police.


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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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Contact Justine, our legal counseling center.

We help you:
- to find your way in post-attack situation
- to file a complaint
- to communicate with police
- to assign a claim for damages
- to look for non-legal ways how to cope with assaults

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