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Campaign launched to tackle hate crimes against people with learning disabilities

A campaign has been launched to tackle hate crime against people with learning disabilities.
Tackling hate crime

A campaign has been launched to tackle hate crime against people with learning disabilities.

The I'm With Sam campaign was launched today by the charity Dimensions, which provides positive behaviour support to people with learning disabilities and autism.

Real-life stories

A short film released to mark the start of campaign features real-life stories of hate crime, which can include verbal and physical abuse, coercion, theft or intimidation.

The campaign coincides with National Hate Crime Awareness Week with both #hatecrimeawarenessweek and #ImwithSam receiving considerable attention on social media.

Target of abuse

Dimensions

A campaign has been launched to tackle hate crime against people with learning disabilities.

Intimidation
Campaign launched to tackle hate crime. Picture: iStock

The I'm With Sam campaign was launched today by the charity Dimensions, which provides positive behaviour support to people with learning disabilities and autism.

Real-life stories

A short film released to mark the start of campaign features real-life stories of hate crime, which can include verbal and physical abuse, coercion, theft or intimidation.

The campaign coincides with National Hate Crime Awareness Week with both #hatecrimeawarenessweek and #I’mwithSam receiving considerable attention on social media.

Target of abuse

Dimensions said people with learning disabilities can become targets for verbal, physical and financial abuse; with the latter being defined as a ‘mate crime’ where abusers take advantage of a person’s disability to befriend and trick them into giving away their money.

It conducted a survey in which 73% of 320 respondents reported experience of hate crime, 53% of those in the past year.

The campaign makes a number of recommendations to tackle the problem, including calling on the Department for Health to develop simple guidance to help families and support workers identify and manage cases of hate crime.

Wider problems

Learning disability consultant Jonathan Beebee is director of PBS4 which also provides positive behaviour support to patients with autism and similar disabilities.

He believes the problem could be far more widespread than the figures indicate.

‘I would expect there were an even greater number who lack the verbal or communication skills to make a report; as well as others unable to recognise they are victims,' he said.

More to be done

‘This is a vital issue that needs tackling and while it’s good that hate crime is now classified by the criminal justice system there is a lot more to be done.

‘Nurses can play a part in helping change attitudes in communities, so that people see it is not OK to be abusive towards people with disabilities.’


Further information:

I’m With Sam campaign

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