At the Anti-Tribalism Movement, we are committed to the eradication of discrimination. National Hate Crime Awareness week offered us the opportunity to raise awareness for our hate crime service S.A.V.A.H. (Supporting and Advocating for Victims Against Hate) dedicated to supporting Somali and Horn of Africa hate crime victims based in London. SAVAH supports victims who have suffered an incident which they, or someone else, think was motivated by prejudice based on ethnicity or religion. This often takes the form of racist abuse (verbal, written, or online), assaults, bullying, arson, threats, damage to property, etc.
The Somali community is particularly vulnerable to racist and islamophobic attacks; both of which are on the rise in London. National Hate Crime Awareness week, which took place from the 9th-16th October, enabled us to push our hate crime services to multiple boroughs in London. We handed out flyers, badges and t-shirts as well as speaking to local residents on their rights and the support available to them. SAVAH offers the following services for clients:
- Emotional support: a non-judgmental listening ear to help victims to cope with the effects of hate crime. We can also refer clients for specialist counselling if requested.
- Practical support: We will empower victims to understand their options and help them make decisions on what to do in relation to the hate crime, based on their wishes. We can advocate with relevant agencies to achieve desired case outcomes. Actions may include, for example, understanding their rights and responsibilities, helping with police report, liaising with relevant local and housing authorities, accompaniment to court or other legal hearings etc.
- Build networks of support: We will provide a safe space for victims of hate crime to come together, on an entirely voluntary basis, to share coping strategies and empowerment tactics.
Other organisations can also refer clients to the ATM for further support. The referral form can be found here.
With the aim of working together to make our communities a place that is safe from hate crime, we collaborated with a number of organisations, including the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, on a number of workshops and stalls throughout the week:
We had a lot of interesting conversations at our stalls (Lyric Square, Hammersmith, Southwark Council and Guy’s Hospital) where we promoted National Hate crime awareness week and raised awareness about our hate crime project SAVAH as well as how to report hate crime, and cooperate with authorities, partners and communities to combat it.
We also had the chance to reintroduce our Don’t Judge Don’t Label campaign to the public. The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham hosted a ‘Pause and Reimagine workshop’ with the Community Safety Unit where we began to input the steps needed to see a change in our community. The ATM also attended a session by Transport for London hosted to demonstrate the work of the control centre and learn more about the work they to do to tackle hate crime and generate safer transport networks.
This week was instrumental in both gaining knowledge to better our own services but also in reaching new communities and promoting the work we do at ATM. SAVAH hopes to continue supporting hate crime victims with renewed confidence in its strengthened ties with the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Southwark Council and Transport for London.
If you, or somebody you know has been a victim of a hate crime you can come directly to our service by contacting ATM. This may be by:
- Phone (0203-5881880)
- Email Habbon Abdi (firstname.lastname@example.org)