On Your Side – Hate Crime & Hate Incident Support & Reporting Service

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Stop Hate UK are one of the leading partners in a consortium of 15 organisations of national and community-based groups with expertise in hate crime reporting, hate crime prevention, and supporting East and Southeast Asian victims/survivors of racial violence.

Today, we are proud to launch On Your Side, nationwide service, offering dedicated support for East and South East Asian people who are targeted by racism and/or other forms of hate. Using our expertise and current helpline infrastructure, Stop Hate UK are providing the helpline service for On Your Side.

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive of Stop Hate UK said: 

On Your Side is a direct response to the dramatic rise in hate crime directed towards ESEA people since start of pandemic. Until now, there has been a gap in the services available to east and south east Asian communities. The On Your Side is a free, nationwide, helpline, run by Stop Hate UK’s specialist advisers who provide tailored and culturally sensitive support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in our joint mission to break down barriers to reporting”.

One of the organisations involved is East and Southeast Asian Scotland. Executive director Kimi Jolly said:

“People from East and Southeast Asian communities have experienced a huge increase in verbal and physical racially-motivated attacks yet, up to now, there has been no support tailored to them in terms of language, cultural awareness and being able to record their ethnicity accurately.

“I know the impact of this first-hand. I’ve been violently assaulted, harassed and verbally abused. During the pandemic, I was asked to leave a shop when other people weren’t. I had sanitiser sprayed all over me on a bus. And I’m not alone in experiencing such incidents. Some people still don’t consider racial jokes made towards members of the East and Southeast Asian community as actually being a form of racism.”

Includes a 24/7 multilingual helpline, website with new multilingual reporting forms and resources, and support for people who have witnessed or been targeted. This includes help from community-based support workers

Andy Fearn, co-executive director of Protection Approaches which is the charity leading the consortium that has set up On Your Side, said:

“During a consultation we conducted to inform the design of this service we spoke to over 150 people from East and Southeast Asian backgrounds. Two in five had been victims of a hate crime or hate incident in the last two years. More than half of those incidents were never reported while fewer than a quarter sought any form of support afterwards”.

“We repeatedly heard that East and Southeast Asian victims of hate crime do not report what has happened to them because they are afraid of dealing with the police and don’t think the police or other reporting services will believe them or take their report seriously. Others told us that they had difficulties accessing reporting and support services because of language and other barriers.”

Helpline operators speak various languages including Japanese, Tagalog, Chinese – Fookien, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, and Indonesian, but can support victims in any language with support from trusted interpreters.

Victims will be offered longer-term support from a trained casework advocate who will help them understand their rights and where they can find specialist support services. This could include support to ensure the police or local authorities are dealing with the case appropriately or help to access mental health and other community services.

Hau-Yu Tam, head of campaigns at End Violence and Racism Against East and Southeast Asian Communities, said:

“We know people can be fearful, reluctant or unsure how to report hate crimes and incidents. Using this service means that community members who are calling or writing in will be centred in the process. They are the ones to decide what, if any, information will be shared with the police. While the number and nature of incidents will be recorded, details remain confidential unless the individual would like help reporting the crime. The primary focus for us is to assist in an appropriate, caring, joined-up way. Everyone deserves to feel safe, respected and supported.”

The service will also allow the consortium to form a more accurate understanding of the levels of racism and/or other forms of hate faced by East and Southeast Asian communities in the UK, providing policy makers, civil society and community groups with insights to shape better prevention and justice approaches.

Our consortium partners 

  • Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham
  • Chinese Community Wellbeing Society
  • Chinese in Wales Association
  • East and Southeast Asian Scotland 
  • End Violence and Racism Against ESEA Communities
  • Hackney Chinese Community Services
  • HongKongers in Britain 
  • Kanlungan Filipino Consortium
  • Protection Approaches
  • Reportable
  • South East Asian Centre
  • Wai Yin
  • Vietnamese Family Partnership

This project has been funded by the UK Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities’ BN(O) status holders and East and Southeast Asian (ESA) Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Service Fund.

Visit https://www.onyoursideuk.org/about/ or call 0808 801 0393.