Many victims of hate crimes have told me that while being targeted for a part of their identity is upsetting and shocking, the real pain is caused when members of the public who could have intervened to stop the abuse simply walked by and did nothing.
Take, for example, the case of Fatima, a 21-year-old who was abused on the bus by a man twice her age. The anti-Muslim abuse continued for more than 15 minutes with people listening to it and no one even intervening to ask how this young woman was.
This case is virtually identical to incidents that have taken place against young Jews travelling on public transport and against people with disabilities, those from LGBT communities and from trans communities.
Simply put, people who could have challenged hatred, intolerance and prejudice through a number of ways simply failed to do anything, leaving the victim feeling more vulnerable and ostracised.
Last year, Faith Matters launched the #No2H8 Crime Awards and this year I was appointed to head and chair these national awards, which will honour those volunteers, individuals and organisations who work tirelessly to support victims of hate crimes and those who challenge hatred where they come across it.
We are proud to have the Jewish News as our media partners in the 2017 #No2H8 Crime Awards.
These awards mark out the remarkable spirit that is unique to our country. It is something that will be celebrated on the night.
Nominations can be made by any member of the public through the awards’ website.
υ Make your nomination at hatecrimeawards.org