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Hate Crimes

What Is a Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by hate/bias or prejudice based on:

  • Race
  • National and ethnic origin
  • Language
  • Colour
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Mental or physical disability
  • Sexual orientation

What are Hate Incidents?

Hate incidents are acts that intentionally hurt others and are motivated by race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic/national origin, religion, disability, language, and colour.
If the incident is not criminal, consequences can still be serious, so the incident should be reported.


  • Fear of retaliation or isolation
  • Fear of negative reaction from police
  • Embarrassment
  • Not familiar with hate crime laws
  • Fear of not being believed
  • Impact of Hate Crimes
  • Hate crimes are often brutal
  • Victims usually feel traumatized
  • Families of victims often feel powerless and frustrated
  • Others in the community who share the victim's characteristics may feel victimized and vulnerable

The Pyramid of Hate

  • Bias. Stereotyping, insensitive remarks, non-inclusive language, justifying biases by seeking out like-minded people, accepting negative information and screening out the positive ones
  • Individual Acts of Prejudice. Bullying, name-calling, slurs, ridicule
  • Discrimination. Economic, political, educational, housing, employment, segregation
  • Bias-Motivated Violence. Murder, arson, assault, rape, vandalism, threats, desecration, terrorism
  • Genocide. The act or intent to deliberately and systematically annihilate an entire community e.g. the Holocaust, Rwanda (1994)

Freedom From Harassment

Your right to live, go to school, work, and play in an environment free from discrimination and harassment based upon prohibited grounds is protected across Canada by important legislation such as Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, Section 2 of Canadian Human Rights Act, Provincial Human Rights Legislation such as the Ontario Human Rights Code, municipal laws, and internal policies.


Upon sentencing for an offence, the provisions of Section 718.2 of the Criminal Code call for an increased sentence when hate is determined to be an aggravating circumstance.

It is very important to report hate crimes in order to stop the cycle of hatred and prevent others from being victimized. The police must know about homophobic violence and bullying so that they can respond correctly. If you are a victim of hate crime or hate-motivated bullying, or if you witness such acts, you should:

  • Stay calm
  • Keep all relevant material
  • Record all information regarding the incident
  • Report immediately
  • Crime Stoppers lets you report and be completely anonymous. You can report by phone or online.

For more information about Hate Crime, please click here.

Submit a tip anonymously by phone, email or text!