The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a frightening and unacceptable rise in incidents of hate, bigotry, abuse, and even violence targeted at members of the Asian-American Pacific Islander community.
According to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition dedicated to documenting and stopping anti-Asian hate and discrimination, nearly 3,800 incidents of hate, abuse, and discrimination against Asian Americans have been reported since March 2020, though the true number is likely higher, as incidents of hate, abuse, and discrimination are often underreported.
If you, your family, or someone in your community experiences or witness an act of anti-Asian hate or discrimination, please call 911 and report the incident as soon as it is safe to do so.
Additionally, please report the incident to Stop AAPI Hate, which is compiling a national database of documented incidents of hate, abuse, or discrimination, as well as your local FBI office. To find your local office, click here: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field, or complete the online form found here: https://tips.fbi.gov/.
You should also preserve any evidence you have of the alleged hate crime by taking pictures of vandalism, keeping copies of any videos taken, noting witnesses, descriptions of the offenders, their vehicles, etc. This information and evidence should be shared with the law enforcement officials investigating the crime you have reported.
Stop AAPI Hate has also prepared the following safety tips for those who experience or witness incidents of anti-Asian hate or discrimination. Their resources are available in multiple languages.
5 Things to Consider When Experiencing Hate
1. Safety First: Trust your instincts and assess your surroundings. If you feel unsafe and you are able to, leave the area.
2. Stay Calm: Take a deep breath, limit eye-contact, and maintain neutral body language.
3. Speak Out (If you can do so safely): In a calm and firm voice establish physical boundaries, and denounce their behavior and comments.
4. Seek Immediate Support: Ask bystanders for support or intervention.
5. Seek Emotional Support: Once you feel safe, take time to recover and reach out to someone to talk about what happened. Remember this is not your fault, and you are not alone.
5 Ways to Help If You Witness Hate
1. Take Action: Approach the targeted person, introduce yourself, and offer support.
2. Actively Listen: Ask before taking any actions and respect the targeted person’s wishes. Monitor the situation if needed.
3. Ignore Attacker: Using your discretion, attempt to calm the situation by using your voice, body language, or distractions.
4. Accompany: If the situation escalates, invite the targeted person to join you in leaving.
5. Offer Emotional Support: Help the targeted person by asking how they’re feeling. Assist them in figuring out what they want to do next.