A 21-year-old from Edinburgh is lifting the lid on hate crime by urging more people who see it to report it.
Aware of the damaging impact this abuse can have on people’s lives, Natasha Iregbu and her team are educating the public on the issue so it doesn't happen to others.
‘Hate crimes are generally motivated by some sort of prejudice towards another person and often involve violence,’ explains Natasha.
‘People I know have been ridiculed and even attacked just because they are gay, which is totally shocking in this day and age.
‘Sadly, I think few people who witness these things actually report them, either out of fear or because they don’t know what’s happening.
‘It’s my mission to increase understanding of such crimes and inspire others to take more of an active role in ensuring they don’t happen.’
With the help of Fixers, Natasha and her team are working to inform young people about the subject and have created a short film, which shows the potential consequences of not reporting hate crimes.
In the piece, Natasha plays the role of a young bystander, who is uncertain how to respond after witnessing victims getting attacked in her community.
Watch the group's Fixers film ‘Hate Crime’ at the top of this page.
‘It’s a strong message,’ Natasha adds.
‘I had a moment watching the film when I thought, this is probably happening to someone right now, which was quite a sobering thought.
‘Hopefully the film will raise enough awareness and encourage more people to stand up against this abuse.’
The group, who are all members of the Edinburgh and the Lothians Regional Equality Council, plan to show their film at anti-hate crime workshops as well as take it into local schools.
Natasha adds: ‘It’s a really important message and one that we need to share far and wide.
‘We all have the power to end hate crime, so let’s not ignore it any longer.’
For more information and help on dealing with hate crime, visit the True Vision or ELREC websites.
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