Psychological Effects Of Hate Crimes

1335 WordsNov 1, 20176 Pages
Many issues impacted by hate crimes can be informed by psychological research. For example, are hate crimes more harmful than other kinds of crime? Why do people commit hate crimes? What can be done to prevent or lessen the impact of hate and bias-motivated crimes? Social scientific research is beginning to yield information on the nature of crimes committed because of real or perceived differences in race, religion, ethnicity or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. Current federal law defines hate crimes as any felony or crime of violence that manifests prejudice based on “race, color, religion, or national origin”. Hate crimes can be understood as criminal conduct motivated in whole or in part by a negative opinion…show more content…
PTSD emerges in response to an event that involves death, injury, or a threat of harm to a person. Symptoms of PTSD may include intrusive thoughts or recurring dreams, refusal or inability to discuss the event, pulling away emotionally from others, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and disturbed sleep. Depression, anxiety, and PTSD may interfere with an individual’s ability to work or to maintain healthy relationships, can lead to other problems such as substance abuse or violent behavior, and may be associated with other health problems such as severe headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and insomnia. Similar to other victims of traumatic stress, hate crime victims may enjoy better outcomes when appropriate support and resources are made available soon after the trauma. Hate crimes are different from other crimes in that the offender whether purposefully or not is sending a message to members of a given group that they are unwelcome and unsafe in a particular neighborhood, community, school, workplace, or other environment. Thus, the crime simultaneously victimizes a specific individual and members of the group at large. Hate crimes are often intended to threaten entire communities and do so. For example, a hate crime that targeted children in a religious day care center and an ethnic minority postal worker was intended to instill fear in members of these minority communities. Being part of a community that is targeted because of
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