Unfortunately, we have all been seeing a lot more hateful rhetoric in the news lately as well as an uptick in the number of incidences of hate crimes. The Human Rights campaign estimates that violence motivated by prejudice occurs once every hour in the United States. If you are concerned about your and your family’s safety in this environment, understand how to protect yourself, and explore your legal options if you have become the victim of a hate crime. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to take the aggressor to civil court to obtain damages for your medical bills, time off work, physical rehab costs and other expenses.
Many strategies for preventing hate crimes lie in education and awareness. Community groups and local government alike need to support public education and promote cultural awareness. The United States is a diverse society, and our diversity is a source of strength. Individual citizens should feel empowered to speak up when they see a hate crime or hear hate speech.
If you have been the victim of a hate crime, know that the law is on your side and that you have options. In 2009, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This law expands on the existing hate crimes law that dates back to 1969, and it provides much greater protections for those who are at risk.
For more detailed information on intimate crimes, please see our post on the effects of domestic violence.
Injuries sustained due to violent acts can be confusing and scary, particularly if there’s a debate over who’s liable. Contact our D.C. injury attorneys for a free consultation about your options to obtain justice and fair compensation in a civil action.