What is Hate Crime?

​Hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, colour, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, national or ethnic origin, citizenship or political belief or any other opinion.

Hate crime, whether experienced directly or indirectly can cause the person to feel some of the following:

Vulnerable
Anxious
Angry
Shameful
Isolated
Fearful
Worthless
Depressed

Hate crime is made up of a combination of the following acts:​

1.   Physical Aggression 

Physical aggression of any kind is a criminal offence. In all cases, if you have been a victim of physical aggression you should report it to the authorities. Depending on the level of violence used, a perpetrator may be sentenced with different degrees of punishment.

When physical aggression is motivated by hatred against a person or a group, the charges brought against the perpetrator are aggravated.

2.    Hate Speech

Hate speech is defined as words, behaviour or any displays of written or printed material that are considered to be threatening, abusive or insulting and/or motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person’s race, colour, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, political belief or any other opinion.

Victims of verbal abuse and threats are often unsure whether an offence has been committed. They  believe that there is little they can do, even more when it comes to online hate speech which typically takes place on social media. However, victims need to know that there are laws in place to protect them from any form of hate speech.
 
3.    Incitement to hatred

Incitement to hatred is defined by acts that are specifically designed to stir up hatred and/or are threatening towards a group or a member of that group. These acts are motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race, colour, religion or belief, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, language, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, political belief or any other opinion.

Incitement can be delivered through spoken words, pictures, videos or music, and may also include certain information posted online.

Online content that is considered as hate speech may include:
  • Web pages that depict images, videos or even written descriptions of violence against individuals or groups due to their perceived differences
  • Chat forums which focus on hate crime and the committing thereof
  • Any calls for violence against a specific person or group

As a victim, you may be tempted to shrug it off. However, if you seek help at the Hate Crime & Speech Unit, the necessary course of therapeutic and/or legal actions will be taken based on your needs. Should you wish to report your experience to the Police, they will carry our an investigation to stop it from getting worse – either for you, or for someone else. 

Hate crime and hate speech in general are very personal and frightening experiences for their victims and their families. If you have been affected by hate crime and/or hate speech, we are here to provide you with the help you need, from therapeutic to legal. Services are also extended to victim's family, significant others and witnesses. 

Remember, you do not have to be the victim of any form of hate crime to report it. By reporting a hate crime, you may be able to prevent this from happening to you or even to someone else.
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 Contact Name
Hate Crime and Speech Unit,
15, 1st Floor, City Gate Buildings,
Ordinance Street,
Valletta. VLT 1020

 Telephone
25689700


 Email