If someone discriminates against you because of your race, the colour of your skin or where you're from, that's racism. And racism is a crime.

Racism is a hate crime, and is illegal

What is it?

Racism is when someone is discriminated against (singled out) because of their race, the colour of their skin, their nationality, their accent or first language, or their ethnic or national origin. Racism is a hate crime, and is illegal.

Is it common?

Well it's not rare. There were 31,486 racially or religiously motivated offences recorded in England and Wales in 2010. And they're just the ones that were reported...

I'm not sure if I'm the victim of racism... or just paranoid

Hate crime can include physical attacks, offensive grafitti, the threat of attack, verbal abuse and bullying at school. It can be via email, text or social media. The police's definition of a hate crime is: 'Any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate.' So in short, if you think it's racism, it is racism.

What can I do?

If you or someone you know is the victim of racism...

  • Don't try and get back at the them: you could get hurt or even get into trouble with the police yourself.
  • Do tell someone about it. Racists should not be allowed to get away with it. If there's an adult you trust, ask for their help. Your school should have a policy on how to deal with racist bullying.
  • Go straight to the police. If you don't want to walk into a police station, there are many ways you can report a crime; you can even do it online or anonymously.

BBC Advice factfiles are here to help young people with a broad range of issues. They're based on advice from medical professionals, government bodies, charities and other relevant groups. Follow the links for more advice from these organisations.


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