Topic 2 A victim-based approach

It is very important, when dealing with hate crime, to give emphasis to who the victims are and what is the impact of the hate crimes on them.

Victims of hate crimes are not only minority groups:

Who is a victim of a crime? According to the Victims’ Rights Directive of the European Union: “A natural person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss which was directly caused by a criminal offence.” In the hate crimes’ victim definition, the harm is caused by hate.

Who is a hate crime victim? According to  OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), (2022):

Hate crime victims can be individuals that belong either to minority or majority communities. It is important to mention that the whole community that shares the characteristic which is perceived with prejudice is targeted by the offender! The actual individual victim is most of the times picked as a representative of this group, randomly.

Some key facts about hate-crime victims according to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), (2021) are that:

  • The damage of the hate crime, is influenced by several factors, such as age, gender or religion of the victim.
  • They are targeted because of how the offender perceives them in terms of their identity.
  • Even if a single individual is a victim of the attack, the whole community that this victim belongs to, co-experiences the attack.

Here are some of the common ways the hate crime impacts the victim according to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), (2021):

  • There is a bigger probability that the hate crimes victim suffer from depressive symptoms and be emotionally vulnerable than victims of crimes that are not hate crimes.
  • Trauma
  • Constantly afraid of a new attack and a new hate crime against them


Apart from those in the previous section, please mention three other needs that you believe hate crime victims have.