After the Hate: Helping Psychologists Help Victims of Racist Hate Crime

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Rates of hate-crime activity continue to occur with alarming frequency, and according to most law enforcement personnel those that are motivated by ethnic and race-based hatred occur most frequently. When individuals are targeted because of their race or ethnicity they are likely to experience a host of negative emotions that are qualitatively distinct from those experienced following nonbiased criminal victimization. In an effort to assist psychologists who treat hate-crime victims, this paper describes the psychological impact of racist hate-crime victimization. A review of the general effects of victimization and experience of posttraumatic stress disorder is also presented. The remaining section of the paper offers specific suggestions for psychologists and other mental health practitioners who seek to assist victims of racist hate crime.

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