Hate Crime Victims
Hate crime is a collective name for various crimes committed as a result of the offender's negative attitude towards, for example, sexual orientation, skin colour or religion.
Assistance and support
If you are the victim of a hate crime, you can contact the police for support and assistance. Seek the nearest police station or call 114 14. If it is an emergency or taking place, call 112. The police will write up a report, but can also answer questions or refer you to a relief organisation.
Non-profit organisations with hotlines for crime victims are found in most districts in the country. The Victim Support Association has a national helpline and RFSL - the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, has a crime victim hotline for LGBT persons.
Importance of reporting
If you are personally the subject of a hate crime, or suspect a hate crime, we urge you to contact the police and report this matter.
To consider when filing a report
It is important to specify why you believe you have been subjected to a hate crime when reporting it to the police. Witnesses and evidence are also significant to the investigation.
An example is if you were assaulted while, at the same time, the offender made defamatory comments about your skin colour. The perpetrator can be convicted of the actual assault and also have the severity of the sentence increased if the act is judged to be a hate crime.
Support in the legal process
If there is a reasonable suspect and it is likely that there is a hate crime motive connected to the crime, a prosecutor will take charge of the investigation. In many cases you are entitled to support from a counsel for an injured party. You can request such a representative from the police investigating your case. She or he presents your request to the prosecutor after which a court determines if there is a need.
Definition of the crime
Hate crime is a collective name for several crimes committed as a result of the offender's attitude towards certain characteristics of a person. Hate crime legislation is founded on:
- Skin colour
- National or ethnic origin
- Religion or other belief
- Sexual orientation
You do not have to fit in any of these descriptions in order to be a victim of a hate crime. It is enough that the offender thinks that you have some of these characteristics, for example, that he or she thinks that you are a homosexual.
Hate crime increases the severity of the punishment
Hate crime is a constructed concept, meaning a collective name for a motive to commit different crimes. In the Penal Code, aside from agitation against an ethnic group and unlawful discrimination, there is no specific law regulating the type of crime summarised as a hate crime. An increase in severity of a punishment regulation results in an offender receiving a heavier penalty for a crime if it is committed with a hate crime motive.