Hate crimes are crimes which take place because the victim is a part of a particular group. Groups which may be affected by hate crimes include gays and lesbians, ethnic groups, religious groups, women, political groups, and other special interest groups. Hate crimes can include physical attacks, rapes, bombings, murders, terroristic threats and more. Hate crimes are particularly devastating to those they affect because the only impetus for these crimes is an individualís involvement in or belonging to a particular group. In addition, hate crimes are often more violent and brutal than other types of personal crimes.
As a result of the unpredictable and sometimes brutal nature of hate crimes, victims of these crimes often develop symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Persons who have survived such crimes may experience flashbacks, fears related to the crime incident and all reminders of the incident, difficulty sleeping, increased watchfulness of their environment, and changes in their relationships with others. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), which is available through the Center for Traumatic Stress Research, can help victims of hate crimes by alleviating the symptoms of PTSD that often accompany recovery from such a crime.
Other resources available on the web include:
WWW Resources on Hate Speech & Hate Crimes
Hate Crimes in America
National Center for PTSD (NCP)