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Hate Crimes

In Canada, a hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person, group of people or property that is motivated by the suspect's hate, prejudice or bias, based on race, colour, national or ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation. If you are a victim of a hate crime, or have witnessed a hate crime, help is available through victim services and other resources.

Note: Hate/Bias incidents are actions that are not criminal in nature but may be covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act

What to do next?

  • If you need are in immediate danger or need urgent medical attention, contact the police or ambulance services, by calling 911 or the emergency number for your community.
  • If you wish to contact victim services, call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808. Victim services can help you directly and can also refer you to other community agencies.
  • Tell someone you trust what happened. If a friend or family member can provide emotional support or help you in practical ways, ask for help.
  • Make detailed notes about what happened – description of those responsible, when & where the incident occurred, etc.
  • In situations involving print materials promoting hate, keep record of all materials.
  • In cases of graffiti, make sure a photo is taken before it is removed.
  • If a hate message is left on an answering machine, do not erase the message.
  • Have a police report taken – Make sure to tell police why you believe it is a hate crime and ask for the incident number.
  • If you have questions about a hate crime, or your rights, don’t hesitate to ask a victim service worker.


What resources are available?

VictimLink BC

VictimLink BC is a toll-free 24/7 information and support line that provides information and referrals to all victims of crime, and crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including sexual assault, violence in relationships, elder abuse, and adult survivors of physical or sexual abuse. VictimLink BC provides service in 110 languages, including 17 North American Aboriginal languages.

  • Phone: toll free 1-800-563-0808. 24 hours every day
  • TTY (Teletypewriter): through Information Services Vancouver TTY service at (604) 875-0885 (collect calls accepted)
  • Multilingual

B.C. Hate Crime Team

The B.C. Hate Crime Team tracks and follows up on reports of hate crimes, coordinating with local police as appropriate. People may call to obtain general information or to speak to police about a hate incident.

  • Phone: (604) 660-2659 or (604) 660-2617

Qmunity Resource Centre

For hate crimes that relate to sexual orientation, Qmunity Resource Centre, can provide counselling, resources, programs and peer support.  Qmunity also operates Prideline, a peer support, information and referral helpline.

  • Phone: (604) 684-5307
  • Prideline: (604) 684-6869 or toll free, 1-800-566-1170
  • Website:http://www.qmunity.ca

Crime Victim Assistance Program

Crime Victim Assistance Program provides financial benefits to assist victims, immediate family members, and witnesses in dealing with the affects of violent crime.

B.C. Human Rights Coalition

BC Human Rights Coalition is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote human rights and prevent discrimination through advocacy, education and law reform.

B.C Human Rights Tribunal

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal is responsible for accepting, screening, mediating and adjudicating human rights complaints.

HealthlinkBC

HealthLinkBC is a gateway to non-emergency health information and services. A phone service, website and print resource provides an expanded health navigation system, access to advice from healthcare professionals and enables community members to look up symptoms and services.

  • Phone: dial 8-1-1, nurses are available to answer questions 24 hours every day
  • TTY: dial 7-1-1
  • Translation services are available in over 130 languages on request
  • Website. www.healthlinkbc.ca

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