A Muslim woman who feels unsafe in her own city following a spate of hate crimes in the aftermath of Brexit is campaigning for unity.
With Fixers, Azizen, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, has designed a poster calling for a “United” Kingdom after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in June.
According to the National Police Chiefs' Council, reports of hate crime saw a 42 per cent rise following the vote.
She says: ‘The fear on both sides needs to be removed. We need to be united; we can’t let racist groups divide us because we are all human.’
The 24-year-old, who does not wish to be pictured or have her surname used, told Fixers how she plans 'safe routes' to get home because she is scared of becoming a target.
She says: 'When I go out I have to plan my journey and find out what my safe routes are before I leave home.
'I only travel through well-lit areas where there are people around who can help if something happens and I try to make my trips short.
'I make sure that my phone is always in my hand and I check if there is CCTV around to be on the safe side and keep my anxiety at bay.’
Azizen, who wears a hijab, reveals that she has not used public transport for two years after racist comments were directed at her.
She says: ‘I was on the bus and a group of people kept talking about Pakistanis, looking at me and saying demeaning things. It made me feel unsafe and uncomfortable.
‘I’ve also heard of many other incidents from my family members - some of whom have actually been told to get up off their seat because they have no right to sit there.
‘I suffer from anxiety and have a lot of panic attacks. Situations like that will still affect me weeks after they happen so I don’t use public transport.’
Azizen hopes her poster will encourage people to be more tolerant of others.
Click on the poster below to view.
She says: ‘I read lots of reports about hate crime in the news after Brexit and it set alarm bells ringing.
‘Many people have been told to “get out of the country” - I’ve seen videos of racial abuse like that. It’s so horrible.
‘People are scared to talk about it and don’t know where to go, who to talk to or where to get support from.
‘I hope my poster encourages people to pull together. It also explains how victims can report hate crimes.’
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