A man in a suit at a lectern with women standing around him, one of who is signing

CA vs. Hate Program Shows Progress and Promise

A man in a suit at a lectern with women standing around him, one of who is signing

California Civil Rights Department director Kevin Kish, center, and a sign language interpreter, right, deliver remarks in Sacramento at a press conference on the first year of the CA vs. Hate program. (Screenshot captured by Michael J. Fitzgerald / The CC Pulse)

By Michael J. Fitzgerald

The state-sponsored California vs. Hate program is having a positive impact, officials announced Monday as they highlighted statistics about reported cases and initiatives to combat hate across the entire state, part of a one-year anniversary gathering in Sacramento.

Gov. Gavin Newsom launched the program last May. It is the first multilingual statewide hotline (833-8-NO-HATE) and online portal to provide a safe reporting mechanism for victims and witnesses of hate acts. People who reported problems to CA vs. Hate this year were directed to more than 100 different forms of resources and support.

California Civil Rights Department data indicates that more than 1,000 acts of hate were reported to the hotline in this first year.

CA vs. Hate is about recognizing and protecting the incredible diversity of our state and sending a clear message that hate will never be tolerated,” said Newsom in a statement.

>>>From Our Archives: California Launches Hotline to Make Reporting Hate Crimes Easier

At a press conference Monday, a who’s who of guest speakers, including CRD director Kevin Kish, offered their evaluations of what has been accomplished and what needs to be done.

Kish said the state has launched a wide array of programs to ensure all communities feel welcome and protected.

“When California was confronted by an alarming increase in hate, we didn’t just sit back and hope it got better,” said Kish. “This work is only just beginning, but it would not be possible without the advocacy of our community partners and the foresight of our state’s administration and Legislature.”

Speakers noted that many hate crimes have gone unreported in the past due to fear of retaliation, a lack of resources, concerns about immigration consequences, and general distrust of law enforcement. The CA vs. Hate program is attempting to overcome these issues with additional resources for people targeted by hate and using a community center approach — one that avoids engagement with criminal justice authorities.

Also noted was that hotline services are free and confidential regardless of an individual’s immigration status. CA vs. Hate accepts all reports of hate, not just those of a criminal nature. And anyone reporting online or by phone is eligible for ongoing help to ensure they can access resources including legal, financial, mental health and mediation assistance.

In its first year, CA vs. Hate received 2,118 contacts from people seeking help, including some non-hate related reports. The most common reasons given for people to reach out to the organization were discriminatory treatment (18%), verbal harassment (16%), and derogatory names or slurs (16%).

The most common locations for where the hate incident took place were residences (nearly 30%), the workplace (nearly 10%), and public facilities (9%).

A review of 560 instances showed 35% motivated by race and ethnicity, 15% by gender identity (15%), and nearly 11% by sexual orientation. The most cited bias motivations in terms of race or ethnicity were anti-Black (nearly 27%), anti-Latino (15%), and anti-Asian (14%).

CA vs. Hate provides a non-emergency and incident reporting system both online and via telephone. It is multilingual with 15 different languages available through the online portal and more than 200 when calling the hotline. Reports can be made anonymously at (833) 866-4283, or 833-8-NO-HATE. The phone lines are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Outside of those hours, you can leave a voicemail or call 211. Reports can be filed at any time online.

Officials said if anyone needs to report a hate crime to law enforcement or believes they are in imminent danger, they should call 911.

For more information on CA vs. Hate, check the website: CAvsHate.org.

This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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