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This Committee does not provide Legal Advice or Legal Services

 

 
Hate Crimes / Violent Relationships

Violent Relationships.

Many people think violent relationships only happen between men and women; but it can happen to anyone—gay or straight, young or old, rich or poor, female or male. It happens to people of all races and in all cultures of the world.

Domestic violence happens when one person believes they can control another person, using certain tactics to establish power through fear and intimidation. It can include, but is not limited to, the threat or actual use of physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and isolation. Also, homophobia or heterosexism within society may enforce the silence that surrounds same-sex domestic violence.

Nobody deserves to be in an abusive situation. This brochure provides examples of how an buser might try to establish power or control over their partner. No two abusive situations are the same, and abusers may use many, some, or just a few of these behaviors, as well as other kinds of abuse.  If you feel you are in an abusive relationship please contact

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What is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offense committed against persons, property or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by an offender's bias against an individual's or a group's race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. Hate crimes include not only violence against individuals or groups but also crimes against property, such as arson or vandalism, particularly those directed against community centers or houses of worship.

Currently the State of Georgia does not have a Hate Crime Statute.

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Special Concerns for Victims of Hate Crime.

Similar to violence directed toward those for ethnic, religious or for any reasons found inherent in the victim's inner-self, anti-gay and lesbian violence may pit the victims against themselves. The feelings of vulnerability due to criminal reactions by others can lead to stress and self-dehumanization. The victim viewing himself or herself as perpetually vulnerable or that his or her existence is the cause of this violence is unhealthy and maladaptive. It is important that they not fall into the common trap of self-blame and recognize that their orientation did not lead to the attack, but rather consider "that this was not a random attack, but a pre-meditated, purposeful act aimed at...their community" (Serving Victims of Bias Crimes, 1992).

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Considerations for Victims of Hate Crime

The victim has the right to not report an incident if he or she so chooses. If the attack requires hospitalization, medical service providers may be required to report the incident to the police. If so, the victim may identify the attack as hate-related or not. There are several arguments for reporting the incident as hate-related. Without documentation as to the prevalence of anti-gay or lesbian violence, there is less justification for legislation to be enacted which will hopefully decrease the frequency of these crimes. Just as legislation requires justification to be enacted, so do programs set up in response to specific problems. Without input from victims, community patrols or other programs may be suspended. On an interpersonal level, increased exposure to gays and lesbians may work toward dispelling negative stereotypes, and thus reduce a perceived threat to would-be offenders.

For more information contact The National Center for the Victims of Crime: http://www.ncvc.org/

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