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Supporting victims of hate harassment

Published: Fri, 2 Oct 2015
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Pictured (l-r) Shane Gorman, Leonard Cheshire Disability; Sgt Cheryl Ross, PSNI; our Director of Landlord Services, Gerry Flynn;  Michael Bailey (centre), who has experienced hate crime and Geraldine Hanna, Victim Support.
Hate Harassment Toolkit launch
A Hate Harassment Toolkit offering guidance and practical information to improve support for people experiencing hate harassment, has been launched by the Housing Executive today.
As part of Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2015, the Hate Harassment Toolkit was launched at Housing Centre in Belfast.
The Toolkit aims to provide a wide range of practical information and advice to staff, community workers and other professionals throughout Northern Ireland to help provide a comprehensive service to victims and witnesses of hate harassment.
Launching the Toolkit, our Director of Landlord Services, Gerry Flynn, said:
“We aim to provide a safe environment within our estates where residents, their families and visitors can live in peace and quiet. All crime and harassment is clearly wrong and we are working to deal with all types of anti-social behaviour in our estates, but when harassment is targeted and motivated by hatred it is not only particularly harmful to the victim and their families but it can also divide whole communities and ruin their reputations.
“People who suffer harm at the hands of others because of their race, religion, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or political belief, are being denied things we should all be able to take for granted, such as being able to go about our business in peace. We aim to help change that.”
Linda Hutchinson, Race Relations Officer with the Community Cohesion Unit, added:
“The Housing Executive is committed to dealing quickly and positively with any hate motivated harassment or intimidation whether it amounts to a crime or not.
“Our aim is to prevent hate harassment happening in the first place and we will work to challenge the attitudes that cause it. We want it to be reported and recorded so that we can work to prevent it from escalating and we want to support the victims and the local community so that together we can ultimately stop it.”
Pictured are (l-r) Jennifer Hawthorne, Head of Income and Communities, Director of Landlord Services, Gerry Flynn & Linda Hutchinson, Race Relations Officer.
Hate harassment toolkit launch
The Housing Community Network, made up of over 300 community groups, is supporting the Housing Executive in sending out a clear and strong message that they will not tolerate hate crime on their estates.
Chairperson of the HCN’s representative body, the Central Housing Forum, Linda Watson, said:
“Many of our young people move to other countries to get employment and to make a better life for themselves and we expect them to be treated with dignity and respect so we should show the same respect to people from other countries coming to live here.”
Copies of the Toolkit can be downloaded through our website or email to request copies. The Hate Harassment Toolkit and an awareness raising video will be presented to community groups interested in learning more about how they can help in 2015/16.