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Experiences of Victimization Among Latinos: Studies Confirm Significant Victim Mental Health Impact and Mistrust of Authorities

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2022

Research on bias-based and other victimization within certain Latino populations in the United States is helping justice and victim support agencies better understand the nature, patterns, and impact of victimization. This article details how two studies supported by the National Institute of Justice concluded that impacts of bias victimization, including hate crimes, harassment, threats, and other types of victimization, are wide-ranging across Latino populations. The research discussed in this article points to a greater impact of bias victimization than other victimization on victims’ mental health. The researchers’ data suggest that anti-immigrant sentiment, a driver of Latino victimization, has continued to worsen. A key policy implication of the research is the importance of finding new ways to decrease that sentiment within the general population. The studies reveal that bias victimization across Latino populations varies with respect to immigration status and English language proficiency. The research also suggests that members of the Latino community may fear engaging with police and other formal institutions due to personal or vicarious experience with bias victimization, including discrimination, by those institutions.