Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, hate attacks based on race and faith have risen at an unprecedented rate.
“Three out of five Muslims in Nottingham have been victims of hate”
In our city, shocking research has shown three out of five Muslims in Nottingham have been victims of hate, and nationally we have seen violent attacks on places of worship, and hate abuse increasing on public transport.
Hate and prejudice has become commonplace in political discourse across the world, with some politicians seeking to divide people rather than celebrate the rich diversity which adds so much to our communities.
Students’ Unions and other community organisations have been leading the fight against hate by bringing people together and ensuring that victims have their stories heard and reported. It was, with this in mind, that I formed my manifesto commitment to implement a hate crime reporting centre within our Students’ Union.
“need for the service at our Students’ Union so victims were never left alone”
During my election campaign, the media reported that there had been racist slurs in Nottingham Trent halls which was widely shared on social media, then weeks later a misogynistic message left in Florence Boot hall. This reiterated the need for the service at our Students’ Union so victims were never left alone.
“Students’ Union Advice will now act as a free and confidential service where victims of hate crime can report their incident”
Students’ Union Advice will now act as a free and confidential service where victims of hate crime can report their incident to the police (anonymously or not) and receive any welfare support they may need from the SU or other University services.
Our work on tackling hate crime does not end with this success. Over the next few months, we will be working to deliver bystander intervention sessions, so that those witnessing hate crime in the moment feel empowered to step in and act by reporting the incident or comforting a victim.
Nottingham has always been at the forefront of the fight against hate – in 2016 becoming the first city in the UK to recognise misogyny as a hate crime. To see further success we must work in coalition with others and continue the Nottingham Citizens campaign to see us become a ‘Hate Free City’.
I’m proud that our Students’ Union now joins an alliance of reporting centres across Nottingham and the country to help deliver justice to those who find themselves as victims of hate.
This is our campus and our city, and they are no place for hate.
UON SU Community Officer
Follow Jacob on Facebook to keep up to date with the work he has planned during the academic year.