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In this three-page reflection paper, imagine you are a victim of a hate crime. You may pick what aspect about you that could be the potential reason for this, or you may put yourself in the role of someone else. Be sure to explain why the aspect you choose is considered a hate crime within the introduction of your paper. Remember, you are putting yourself in the victim’s shoes.
- What crime was committed against you, and how did you “being who you are” lead to your victimization?
- As a victim, how would your interaction with criminal justice system and the offender possibly affect you? How do you think people would view your crime (for example, blame you or target you more).
- Explain what can be done to prevent further victimization, such as this. Touch on trainings discussed and how those could facilitate change. Please use APA format and cite and put reference in APA format.
Before we get into hate crimes further, let’s stop and think about ourselves. Think about your life, where you grew up, what your family is like, your race, gender, sexual orientation, religious background, ethnicity, education, and disability. Think about all the things that make you who you are. Keep those in mind as you read the materials for this unit. Think about how someone victimizing you could do so because of the church you attend, who you date, or what color your skin is. Think about how that makes you feel. Think about someone hurting you because of who you are. That is what the people you work with who have been victims of a hate crime may feel like. It is a personal attack on you and your basic identity. The feelings of hate crime victims may be much different than other crimes that are not targeting the victims essentially for who they are. What causes these types of crime? Is it stereotypes? Is it the way we are raised? Is it what the media says? Is there really something we can pinpoint? Many researchers point to possibilities, but they are not full explanations; they are only theories. The crimes can vary, as a rape could be a hate crime, based on the characteristics of the offender and victim. Others fall into bias crimes, which are offenses specifically motivated by hatred based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin (Wallace & Roberson, 2015). These include the following: written or oral comments or gestures; drawings, markings, symbols, and graffiti; representations of organized hate groups; and victim-witness perception (Wallace & Roberson, 2015, pp. 196-197). When determining if it is, in fact, a hate crime, each case is evaluated individually. Factors such as presence of the above as well as lack of other motives and previous existence of bias or hate crime incidents, all become important parts of a potential hate crime case. At times, it may be difficult to even prove it was a hate crime. Can you think of reasons why? From a practitioner standpoint, in order to work with people who fall victim to these crimes, criminal justice agencies now offer cultural awareness trainings. Again, think back to how you grew up. Are you prepared to work with people who are very different than you, people who you may not fully understand? On the flip side, can training offer you enough to understand what they may be experiencing? Keep in mind that one technique or program may not work for all agencies. Some of the suggested techniques to train in cultural awareness are lectures, role-playing, simulations, work groups or presentations, case studies, films, experiential assignments, and interactive computer videos (Wallace & Roberson, 2015). Do you think these can truly advocate cultural awareness? Keep in mind that these crimes continue to happen in our country and with the more cultural diversity we experience, the more these crimes occur. No matter where you end up in criminal justice, this is likely an area you will regularly address. As a provider, you will need to give advice, guidance, and support to these victims. Do you feel prepared? Reference
Wallace, H., & Roberson, C. (2015). Victimology: Legal, psychological, and social perspectives (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.