Racial Harassment victims are likely to be victims again
There is almost one in a 1000 chance of you being a repeat victim of a crime. However, victims of racial harassment suffer repeated, constant and daily abuse from the same perpetrator/s. A study undertaken by the Home Office in an East London estate, showed that two in three families were repeatedly harassed. Other studies have shown that three fifths of people subjected to racial harassment said they had been victimised more than once in the past year.
Even home is unsafe
For victims of racial harassment home is often the most insecure place to be. The risk of attack may be constant. Insecurity at home can result in anxiety and a continuous state of watchfulness, and inability to sleep.
The effect on the victims
Crime can have a devastating psychological effect on you. Racial harassment consists of a series of crimes, each of which can have an overwhelming effect. The cumulative effect of such incidents and crimes can destroy your lives through emotional damage, and long term trauma. Research carried out in 1996 shows that, the emotional impact of racially motivated incidents was markedly greater, than it was, for offences which were not racially motivated. In addition other research has shown that victims of racial harassment become constrained by the fear, and take steps to avoid harassment, for example, by not using the local park, or not going out at night.
The motive of the perpetrator
The intention of the perpetrator may be far more serious than it first appears. For instance verbal abuse is often an indicator of a serious problem, rather than the problem itself.
Racial harassment should not be confused with nuisance and neighbour disputes.
All racial harassment is a nuisance but very little nuisance amounts to racial harassment. There is no comparison between racial harassment and most acts of nuisance. The latter are usually antisocial behaviour committed by people who do not care who suffers. Racial harassment is behaviour committed by people who target a particular family, or person, for harassment.
Racial harassment may be committed by your neighbour. In this sense, it could be classified as a “neighbour dispute”. This should make it easier to solve because it limits the range of possible suspects. However, the classification of a “neighbour dispute” is an artificial one. Sometimes statutory agencies use it to justify a failure to take action on the grounds that the problem is an isolated one arising between two individuals or families and causes no serious harm, or because it is assumed that both parties are partly to blame.
The police response to reported racial harassment
Many victims have been dissatisfied with the response of the police when they report an incident. The police are perceived to show a lack of interest, or indifference, to addressing racial harassment, even though the problem can constitute a criminal offence. Research has shown that victims have found the police act in a manner which they perceive to be unreasonable and which they interpreted as racist or showing some sympathy with the actions of the perpetrators.