Survey finds 72% never reported hate incidents to anyone
Vancouver B.C. – An overwhelming number of people who participated in a public survey for the Inquiry into hate in the pandemic say they never reported the hate incidents they experienced to anyone – not the police, a manager, human resources, school, or lawyer. That is one of the key takeaways from the Inquiry, which has now finished the public participation phase.
More than 2600 people participated in a public survey. After reviewing all responses, 930 surveys were determined to be from people who witnessed, experienced or were affected by hate incidents during the pandemic. Of those:
- 72% of respondents did not report the hate incident they experienced or witnessed and 68% said they didn’t think a report would make a difference.
“Clearly, new strategies are needed to deal with the experience of hate incidents,” said Commissioner Kasari Govender. “To address the rise of hate in our communities, people who experience hate need to feel that they have somewhere safe to turn to seek support, and we need mechanisms in place to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Without safe and credible responses and supports, we risk sending the message that hate is okay in our society and allowing it to flourish.”
The survey also found that:
- 38% witnessed or experienced a hate incident for the first time after the onset of the pandemic in early 2020
- 39% of hate incidents happened on social media
- 48% happened at an outdoor public space – for example a street, park or plaza.
- 58% of respondents felt that the rise in hate incidents was due to the perpetrators blaming certain groups for the pandemic
- 56% felt that the increase in experiences of hate was due to a normalization of hate incidents online and elsewhere
How respondents described the perpetrator:
- 73% reported the perpetrator was a stranger, followed by a person in authority (19%), or a professional (16%)
- 75% of respondents reported that perpetrators were white
- 67% said that perpetrators tended to be men and between 25 and 65
B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner is reviewing all submissions received since the Inquiry began last August, including over 100 oral and written submissions from people representing more than 60 organizations.
Commissioner Govender thanked everyone who participated in the Inquiry. “I am grateful to all those who shared their stories. I want to assure you that your voice has been heard and the information you shared with us will be very valuable as I prepare my report with recommendations. The experiences of hate in our communities is at the heart of this work.”
B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner will release the Inquiry final report and recommendations in early 2023.