Hate crimes are illegal in America, so why do they keep happening? Far too many members of the LGBT community in Chicago, Illinois, ask themselves this question every day. They face discrimination, harassment and violence at a rate that other American citizens rarely experience.
There is help available, however, for the victims of hate crimes.
What qualifies as a hate crime?
According to Illinois legal code, hate crimes can include a wide array of illegal actions, including:
- Assault and battery
- Intimidation, stalking and cyberstalking
- Trespassing on property
- Criminal property damage
- Transmitting obscene messages,
- Harassment over a telephone or via electronic communications
The key to classifying any of these actions as a hate crime is showing that the victims were targeted because of some specific characteristic. Some characteristics that can motivate a hate crime are a victim’s sexual orientation and gender.
Without a doubt, LGBT victims of hate crimes need legal assistance. However, most victims hesitate to report hate crimes for fear of getting ignored or suffering violence at the hands of the original offenders. In the minds and hearts of these law-abiding citizens, there exists little hope of finding true justice.
You can get help when you’ve been victimized by a hate crime
Our entire team wants you to know that hope does exist. We work with many Chicago LGBT residents to stop hate in its tracks.
Report hate crimes against you. If you do not want to make this report to law enforcement personnel alone, find an advocate to stand alongside you and support your quest for justice. Whether you suffer from vocational or housing discrimination or have suffered a physically violent attack, fair and impartial legal assistance can help you play a role in stopping hate crimes for good.
Please, continue exploring our LGBT law web pages to learn more about what you can do to help yourself and others like you.