Hate Crime Victimization

Powerful Essays
The word victim can be used to refer to a number of people who are affected by negative actions of others which are not related to any personal responsibility of their own. “An examination of U.S. history will reveal that a significant proportion of murders, assaults, and acts of vandalism and desecration were fueled by bigotry” (Karmen, 2013, p. 350). Hate crime victimization is a very prevalent and serious issue that exists amongst our society today that is often used to demonstrate a form of hate towards a particular group of people; primarily minority groups. “Although each state employs a different definition of hate crime, most statutes include groups singled out on the basis of race (such as African Americans or Asian Americans), ethnicity (for example, Latina/Latino), sexual orientation, or disability” (McDevitt & Sgarzi, 2003, p.189). Most hate crimes are demonstrated through acts such as vandalism, assault, or some other form of intimidation by the bias person(s).
Hate crimes have the tendency to pose a more harmful threat to the social aspect of society than non-bias crimes in terms that it aims to generate a form of separation between the various groups and members of society. Mass disturbances such as riots, can be generated throughout communities as a result of these bias acts. As a result, many others are victimized when a hate or bias crime is committed: not just the victim(s) themselves. According to Levin & McDevitt, 2003; “these diverse crimes could polarize communities along racial and ethnic lines and thereby undermine the ongoing American experiment of fostering multicultural tolerance and the celebration of diversity” (Karmen, 2013, p. 40). According to several authors, these impacts can be increas...

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...le because of their membership of certain groups could be paving the way for greater intolerance and more aggressive forms of hate crime” (Ardley, 2005, p. 62). Therefore; it is highly important that reports of hate crimes are being adequately reported by the victims and are not being overlooked by law enforcement or the government itself.

Works Cited

Ardley, Jenny. "Hate crimes: A brief review." International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 25.12 (2005): 54-66.
Dunbar, Edward. "Race, gender, and sexual orientation in hate crime victimization: identity politics or identity risk?." Violence and victims 21.3 (2006): 323-337
Karmen, Andrew. Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2010. Print.
McDevitt, Jack, and Judith M. Sgarzi. Victimology: A Study of Crime Victims and Their Roles. Upper Saddle: Prentice Hall, 2003. Print.
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