civic courage!

It is important to support victims!

Victims often report that bystanders turned away instead of getting involved. This reinforces their sense of exclusion.

Hate crime can have serious and long-lasting negative effects. Many victims suffer from constant anxiety and mental or physical consequences of the crime. Hate crime can also negatively affect members of the (victim’s) group, as they will be afraid of suffering the same fate. Hate crime corrodes the very foundations of a diverse and democratic society.

Show solidarity with all victims of hate crime – regardless of their ethnicity or religion and which language they speak!

What can I do if I witness hate crime?

If you witness an attack or insult that is motivated by prejudice – so a racist or antisemitic incident, for example – it is important that you support the victims and do not abandon them. But bear in mind that you must not put yourself in danger.

Pause briefly to assess the situation and to understand what is happening.

Protect yourself as well! It is perfectly fine if you feel overwhelmed and uncertain. But it is not fine to join in or look away.

Call the police on 110 if you believe that the situation is threatening. Give your name and location and describe what has happened or is happening.

Accept personal responsibility and take action, even if nobody else does.

Speak to the victim and ask whether they require assistance.

Instruct the perpetrator(s) calmly but firmly to leave the victim alone.

Encourage the bystanders to get involved as well. It is usually easier if several people get involved together.

If possible, remove the victim from the situation (without placing yourself in danger), for instance by guiding them out of the perpetrator’s field of vision.

If you are reluctant to become personally involved, you can:

do something unexpected as a distraction

keep a distance, but continue to observe what is happening to act as a witness later on

Memorise the features and clothing of the perpetrators. Make yourself available as a witness after the incident and ask the other bystanders to act as witnesses as well. This can be hugely important for criminal prosecution.
learn more about reporting an offence

Do not leave the victim alone after the incident. Make sure that they are okay.

You witnessed a hate crime and are now tormented by what you saw? Even witnesses to hate crime may need support after the incident. Counselling centres would be glad to assist.