Who Are We?
Tell MAMA has been a national not-for-profit project working to help victims of hate crimes receive access to justice. We believe that people should have the right to live their lives as they want, without fear. This is a cornerstone which makes up the foundation of our work.
We have helped over 25,000 people since 2012, who have reported in hate incidents and crimes to us, so that they can get access to justice through prosecutions, information, signposting, casework and advocacy support. We have seen this sharp rise of hate incidents over the last 5 years which affects lives, individuals, families and communities.
Malika, who is 38, suffered a violent street based hate crime 2 years ago. Her headscarf or Hijab was pulled and she was abused and further humiliated as she was on her way to work. The perpetrator had looked at her in an aggressive manner on the London underground and she felt that something bad was going to happen. She stated that:
"I could see the anger in the person's face, as he looked at me and my Hijab or headscarf. As I left the carriage, he followed behind me and started to abuse me. Then he pulled my Hijab and started to abuse me as though I was nothing; as though I had no dignity and no meaning and that I was someone or something that angered him because of my identity. What hurt the most was not his actions, it was the bystanders who saw what was happening and who walked by, doing and saying nothing. It made me feel like I was the problem and that society had rejected me. It cut the deepest that no-one was an Upstander, but that they chose to be Bystanders to allow the hate to carry on."
We believe that everyone should have the right to live their lives in freedom and to be whom they want to be. This is a fundamental freedom that we defend as well as the human rights of individuals. Ensuring the dignity of people is paramount to our work.
We know from our work on hate crimes that prosecutions are not possible on all cases. In fact, only a minority of cases will lead to prosecution. However, every person who reports in a hate incident or crime wants to get some form of resolution or response to their complaint. The latter means that individuals who are targeted in today's interconnected world, may have to help themselves in reporting in online hate, protecting their online identities and in taking charge of getting an outcome as some form of justice. This underlying principle forms the basis of this project. The sad reality is that individuals will increasingly have to have the confidence to seek, access and get justice through their actions and by traversing various organisational systems to do so.
What Are We Proposing?
We are proposing to develop online resources which will be promoted through social media platforms and through social media influencers. They will provide members of the public with:
- What they can do to support people they come across who are targeted by hate. It will promote the concept of Upstanders Against Hate and not Bystanders. We know that victims will feel a greater impact if they see people unwilling to stop to assist them or fail to provide support to them.
- Practical steps of what individuals can do if they are targeted at a street level or online by a perpetrator of hate. These steps will involve highlighting (i) reporting in structures (ii) social media channels of reporting-in hate (iii) self-protective steps which involve diversion of the perpetrators.
- Highlight the rights that individuals have if they report in a hate crime. Many people are not aware that they have rights, such as giving a Victim Impact Statement on the hate incident or crime they suffered. This highlights the impact of the hate crime on the individual and is read out in court when sentencing is being considered.
- Information on what they need to record and document if they are targeted or if they come across someone who has been targeted by hate.
These free practical resources and tool-kits can provide a 'one-stop shop' of support to Upstanders and victims of hate crimes.
We need your support to make this happen at a time when, sadly, intolerance is rising through recorded hate crimes.