This week – 13th to 20th October is National Hate Crime Awareness Week and as a result my Twitter feed has been full of tweets and retweets about Hate Crime. Disturbingly there is a year on year upwards trend of such crimes being reported.
Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:
· race or ethnicity
· religion or belief
· sexual orientation
· transgender identity
Today I had the pleasure of attending a ‘Spectrum of Hate’ event at a local school which had been organised by Derby Homes, in conjunction with Derby City Council and Derbyshire Police.
Year 8 pupils had the opportunity discuss the different forms of hate crime with people who have ‘lived’ experiences of discrimination, including myself. I was born with cerebral palsy and spent much of my teenage years being verbally and physically abused by my peers simply because I was different.
There was lots of lively discussions and the children were particularly surprised that only around 16% of people living with a disability were born with it.
We talked about the origins of the derogatory term “spaz” and why we should embrace differences, after all it is possible for anyone to find themselves disabled at any time.
As it happens to be Invisible Disabilities Week, we also talked about the many hidden disabilities including autism, ADHD, diabetes and heart conditions to name but a few.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event and was hearted when one of the children came up to me afterwards to say that having listened to my experiences “referring to someone as a ‘spaz’ doesn’t seem so funny now” …
#NHCAW #WeStandTogether #NoPlaceForHate #SpreadLoveNotHate #No2Hate