The Hate Crime Advocacy Service is delivered through an independent partnership coordinated by Victim Support NI and includes Hate Crime Advocates that are employed by – Leonard Cheshire Disability, Migrant Centre NI and The Rainbow Project – which provide advocacy services to victims of hate and signal crimes across NI.
Experiencing a hate crime is extremely traumatic, not only for the individual, but for whole community who also often live in fear of being targeted. We understand well how long, gruelling and difficult the criminal justice process can be for hate crime victims, which is why we’re here to support you each step of the way.
What’s often forgotten is how difficult the investigation and judicial processes can be, which is why the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Department of Justice have funded the Hate Crime Advocacy Service. Hate Crime Advocates aim to support you through these processes with compassion by lending an empathetic and helping hand.
The advocates can act as a liaison between you and the criminal justice agencies that you may become involved in the aftermath of a crime. We want to increase your confidence in the criminal justice system so that you are certain, when reporting your experiences, that they will be taken seriously. Our goal is to reduce barriers and improve access to the criminal justice system.
Of course, we always encourage reporting hate crimes and incidents to police. However, you do not have to officially report a crime to avail our services. Our support is tailored to you and your needs – each step of the way.
Crime – any crime – is a tragedy, and even more so when you are targeted for ‘who you are’.