Victims of hate crimes share moving personal experiences to help raise awareness at Council workshop event
Fri, October 20, 2023
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has marked Hate Crime Awareness Week with a special event entitled ‘Who are WE?’.
Council’s Good Relations team worked in partnership with the Hate Crime Advocacy Service, the PCSP and PSNI to organise the half-day event at Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, which was well attended with over 70 participants.
Hate crime in Northern Ireland officially has six categories: Racial, Sectarian, Religious, Homophobic, Transphobic and Disability. Six people, one from each of these categories, attended the workshop to share their own experiences of hate or prejudice, simply because people have perceived them as ‘different’.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Steven Callaghan, attended the event and commented: “The purpose of the workshop was to increase awareness and understanding within the community about hate crime and hate incidents experienced within our communities.
“The event was designed to be informative and useful in terms of what we can do about hate crime, and how to report it. Thank you to all involved in putting this important event together, and for those who shared their moving personal stories.”
Good Relations Officer, Joy Wisener added: “This workshop took the form of a ‘human library’, where participants had the opportunity to talk in small groups with those who have had negative experiences in these various categories of hate crime.
“We saw this as an opportunity to promote a positive attitude towards the diverse make-up of our community, which we hope will help prevent further hate crime in the future. We also had some very informative presentations, working collectively the Hate Crime Advocacy Service, the PCSP, and the PSNI to ensure a useful and successful event.”
Feedback from participants demonstrated that the ‘Who are WE?’ event had increased their knowledge on hate crime, how to report it and how to access support. Additionally participants reported increased understanding and empathy with those who have been subject to both hate incidents and hate crimes.
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