HomeAsian AmericansCA vs. Hate reflects on its first year of addressing hate crimes

CA vs. Hate reflects on its first year of addressing hate crimes

By Rachel Lu, AsAmNews Contributor

California vs. Hate launched its multilingual and statewide hotline for victims to report hate crimes nearly a year ago. In a press conference today, CA vs. Hate and its community partners shared details of its processes as well as challenges ahead.

According to James Williams Jr., community-based organization manager of the CA Civil Rights Department, the hotline has received calls from 79 percent of counties in the state. The leading cause of hate crime is motivated by race, making up 42 percent of all calls, with religion and sexual orientation as the second and third leading motivations for reported crimes. 

The callers have also been relatively receptive to the services provided by the hotline, with 66 percent of callers accepting further assistance. 

Hotline calls are picked up by care coordinators who are specifically trained in responding to trauma, access to resources, and cultural competency.

“Along with trauma informed care training, we receive training from an array of organizations to enhance our cultural competency, in addition to how to find resources and provide referrals and provide an empathetic experience for callers who might find themselves in a crisis situation or still going through a traumatic experience. We want those who report hate to know they are in a safe place,” said Yolie Anguiano from the 211 LA provider network.

According to Chantel Bermudez, senior manager of the CA vs. Hate Resource Line at the CA Civil Rights Department, the main goals of the hotline are to identify options and next steps for the caller, connect them with culturally competent resources, and increase the accessibility for reporting hate crimes. Bermudez emphasized that the hotline is not part of law enforcement, and therefore the data collected will not go towards those agencies. 

“We are a separate data collection process,” said Becky Monroe, deputy director of strategic initiatives and external affairs at CA Civil Rights Department. “We are very clear, our data is based on people who report to us. We are not law enforcement, we are not investigating the cases that are reported to us. We know there is value in sharing that data even though it’s not law enforcement data. That data should be interpreted in that context.”

Stop AAPI Hate, one of the community partners of CA vs. Hate, has a reporting center that is not a hotline but works with CA vs. Hate in directing callers to further resources and services.

“We know that there are so many barriers to reporting to a governmental agency. There is a lack of trust and a sense of hopelessness. CA vs. Hate hotline is an incredible response because it signals that there are systems of care, that we want to respond and be of resource to individuals,” said Cynthia Choi from Stop AAPI Hate.

As the hotline continues to expand its presence as a resource in the state, Monroe said people are still reluctant to report directly through the hotline. In order to build trust, the CA vs. Hate emphasizes that individuals can report directly using the hotline or through their community organizations.

“One of the ways we continue to address this challenge is to expand our network of community based organizations that we work with, and ensure that we provide services directly through these organizations, who can then in turn service people who are targeted by hate,” Monroe said.

Californians can visit the website CAvsHate.org or call 833-8-NO-HATE to receive assistance in more than 200 languages.

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported 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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