It is an opportunity for young people to creatively tell their experiences of prejudice or hate crime through an image and/or a caption. This includes any stories of someone coming to help, for example, a bystander taking action.
Why are we asking young people to tell these stories? In my experience of working on Action on Prejudice, I very regularly hear about hate incidents or prejudiced actions that have been normalised by those at the receiving end. They are brushed off as banter, or that it is something that happens to everyone all the time so why bother saying anything. I questioned why this was and found that often young people don’t recognise the incident as a hate incident or a crime. Equally, some think it is just happening to them or is their fault and if they ignore it, it might go away.
Telling the stories and getting them into the public domain will provide these young people with examples they can potentially relate to. If they hear of someone else’s story and see elements of what happened to them they may be able to see that they are not alone, that they can get support and that what has happened isn’t right. Through the campaign, they will be able to see where they can get help and advice with next steps. By telling the stories we make them real for everyone. Young people will be saying these things happen and that it isn’t right. It will call for change and support others to make a difference for themselves.
We are also encouraging adults to share their stories too. While we can’t enter them into the competition to win an iPad, we want to make sure that all voices are heard. There are young people and adults out there who might just need reassurance that they can get support and that what has happened to them doesn’t mean they are alone. Your stories can help with that so please get in touch and share them.
I don’t ask for something that I wouldn’t do myself so here is my story:
I called the police and reported this, there wasn’t much they could do because I called much later but I was taken seriously. I was not ignored and they visibly stepped up patrols in the area to prevent it from happening again.
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