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Resilience Following Hate Crimes

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2019
1 page
This "tip sheet" from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center provides guidance for both victims/survivors and victim service providers impacted by mass violence incidents (MVIs) that are hate crimes.
In addition to the fear associated with mass violence incidents generally, when they are hate crimes, an additional dimension of distress is involved, because the perpetrator targets a particular group of people based on hatred and bias. Hate crimes are intended to induce fear and cause psychological harm to an entire group of people. Such crimes do induce fear, anxiety, and anger among those who are targeted by hate. This tip sheet advises victims of MVI hate crimes to examine their reactions to the violence and seek support that will enable the expression of feelings and constructive coping with the adverse consequences of the MVI. Other advice to both victims and victim service providers is to seek accurate information on the motive for and harm caused by the MVI and to consider the "ripple effect," which occurs when those not directly impacted by the violence identify with or have the characteristics of the group hated by the attacker. Another topic discussed is common reactions following a hate crime, such as anxiety, anger, difficulty in concentrating, and detrimental changes in sleep and diet. Victims of hate crimes are also advised to limit media exposure, since such exposure is likely to intensify and sustain adverse responses to the hate crime.