Victims urged to report hate crime
9 September 2013 Last updated at 01:50 BST
The University of Leicester is carrying out what is thought to be the biggest ever study into hate crime.
The two-year project aims to "give a voice" to those affected and ultimately encourage others to speak out.
About 45,000 hate crimes were reported last year but some experts believe the problem is much bigger than official figures suggest.
The BBC spoke to hate crime victims, campaigners and the police to find out more.
To see more on this story, watch BBC One East Midlands Inside Out at 19:30 BST on Monday 9 September.