A disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This includes people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
A disability hate crime is defined as:
"Any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability."
Incidents can take many forms and include:
- Verbal and physical abuse
- Threatening behaviour
- Online abuse
- Threatening or insulting text messages
- Damage to property.
It may just be a one-off incident or an ongoing campaign of harassment and/or intimidation.
Hate incidents are not only carried out by strangers, but can, in some cases, be inflicted by a carer, neighbour, teacher or someone you consider a friend.
'Mate crime' is a form of disability hate crime and the term is used to describe a false relationship, whereby someone befriends a vulnerable person and then uses that friendship to manipulate or bully them. It takes many forms, including verbal, physical or sexual abuse, theft, manipulation or online bullying.
Advice and support