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What Is Hate Violence?

From the Spring 2002 Newsletter



"Hate Violence" refers to acts of violence that are motivated by hatred of persons in a targeted group.  Hate violence is directed at persons because of a particular characteristic.  These characteristics include race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, and disability.  Often a person is directly attacked.   When property is attacked it is done in a way that seeks to offend, threaten, and/or emotionally injure people in the targeted group.  Sometimes the violence takes the form of speech that is intended to threaten, harass or intimidate people.


Hate violence is often excessively brutal.  Intense and extreme force is used.  The object is not merely to rob or subdue the victim.  It is to inflict pain and intentionally hurt the person being attacked.  Victims of hate violence are often severely injured or killed.


Hate violence is terroristic in nature.  Acts of hate violence seek to generate fear and send a threatening message to all persons in that category.  For example, when a person is attacked because of their race, all people of that race know they could have been the victims of the attack.


Hate violence is about power and control.  A key purpose of hate violence is to keep people "in their place." Perpetrators feel entitled to act violently.  There is a sense that the violence is socially sanctioned.  For example violence against women is a result of men believing they have a "right" to control women.


Hate violence is anti-democratic.  Violent attacks often increase after public demonstrations to secure democratic and civil rights for people in one of the targeted groups.  Silence in the face of hate, however, does not prevent violence.  Hate violence is built upon a foundation of silence.



Countering Hate Violence

Hate Violence is one of the Families Against Violence advocacy issues.  Unfortunately there are many people in our country who believe that we should not have a separate category of offenses called hate crimes.  In this issue of our newsletter, we give basic information on what is hate violence, what individuals and families can do to counter intolerance and hate violence, as well as a number of resource groups that are actively involved in trying to stop the hate.  We hope you find the information in this issue helpful.

The following links are to two of the Spring 2002 Newsletter articles:


10 Ways to Stop Hate (from the Southern Poverty Law Center)

FAVAN Members Challenged to Raise the Child, Build the Village