by Akemi Tamanaha, AsAmNews Editor
The California Civil Rights Department held a soft launch of its CA vs. Hate Resource Line and Network (CA vs. Hate) on November 1.
The department announced the soft launch Monday during a webinar on hate crime resources hosted by the Office of Attorney General Rob Bonta. The goal of the CA vs. Hate is to provide hate victims with culturally competent resources, offering them support and advice on the next steps after a hate crime. CA vs. Hate was designed partly after a similar line in Los Angeles County.
The line is not a law enforcement reporting line but it will connect victims to law enforcement officials if they wish to make a report.
Trauma-informed services will be available in over 200 languages at 833-8-NO-HATE. Chantel Bermudez, a manager of the new program, said that call wait times will be no longer than three minutes. Victims can also access an online portal that will provide services in 15 different languages.
The online portal and phone system will collect information first via a short in-language call or form. The resource line will then follow up with longer phone calls.
Many reported hate incidents are not classified as hate crimes. This line will provide victims with resources even if the incident is not elevated to the level of a hate crime.
Victims can report anonymously, but their identities will be kept private even if they do not report anonymously. The line will, however, share information if the incident is related to child abuse, elder abuse, or carries the risk of imminent violence.
The department is doing a soft launch because it wants to incorporate feedback from the community before it does a hard launch. According to Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs Becky Monroe, the department will be doing ongoing consultations with social services and civil rights organizations. It will also host regular community feedback sessions.
After feedback is collected, the department will do a hard launch in early 2023. The launch will include a robust, multilingual outreach and education campaign.
The department also reiterated its commitment to enforcing all civil rights protections, not just those limited to hate crimes.
“One thing we know is that hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum and that effective enforcement of all civil rights is critical to preventing and responding to hate,” Kevin Kisch, director of the California Department of Civil Rights said during the webinar.
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Please correct spelling of Director Kevin Kish