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Advice for young people

Don't be afraid, speak up - silence hides hate

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Everyone is different

The world would be a very dull place if everyone looked the same and behaved the same. There are lots of things which make us all different which are something to celebrate and be proud of. You might be different from other people because of -

  • The colour of your hair, skin or eyes
  • Your height or body shape
  • Your gender
  • Where you were born
  • Your faith or religion
  • Your accent or the way you speak
  • The clothes you wear
  • The language you speak
  • Who you fancy
  • A disability or health issue
  • The things you like to do or who you hang out with

What is prejudice?

Some people find new or different things scary. Prejudice is when a person has negative feelings about someone else without actually knowing them. When a person faces prejudice, they may be bullied, singled out, excluded or treated badly just because they are different. Examples of prejudice are racism, sexism and homophobia.

Why are people prejudiced?

Some people are prejudiced because they don’t understand another person’s difference, or they feel scared or threatened. It can often be easy to tease or pick on someone by using a difference. Young people may have grown up hearing prejudiced views at home, at school or amongst their friends. For this reason some people may not even realise that the judgements they make about people are biased, discrimination and most importantly hurtful.

Whatever the reason for being prejudiced, there is no excuse for treating people badly because of a difference.

What should you do if you experience prejudice?

If someone treats you badly, abuses you or bullies you because of a difference you may feel alone or scared – but you don’t have to put up with it.

  • Don’t keep it hidden. Tell a trusted adult what’s happening.

  • Keep a note of what happened. This could be in the format of a diary, saved messages and/or a record of when things happen. This can help you tell an adult.

  • Keep yourself safe. Change your privacy settings online and block users who bully you. Get tips about staying safe online.

  • Report it. Your school and your teachers should support you, but if you can't get help from them, you can tell the police. You can ask a trusted adult to help you with this.There is always someone who will support and help you if you report.

  • Remember that it’s not your fault. Try not to let it affect your confidence – you shouldn’t have to change anything about yourself. Be happy with who you are.

  • Check out organisations which offer advice and support. There is loads of information out there. See how you can get support.

What should you do if you think you have been prejudiced against someone else?

If you are really worried about something you’ve said or done especially if you feel under pressure from others to be prejudiced, speak to an adult and get some help.

  1. Apologise

    Let them know you are sorry - you may have hurt or upset them.

  2. Think about your motives

    Is there a reason why you treated them badly? Did you know it was wrong?

  3. Learn from the experience

    Everybody makes mistakes. Use the experience and ensure you behave better next time.

Victim Support in Warwickshire work with children and young people, aged between 4 and 18, from the moment they experience or witness a crime, until they and their worker feel that support is no longer needed. There are lots of ways children and young people can get support to cope and recover from the effects of crime and our young people caseworkers will talk to them to agree an individual support plan.

We help children and young people who experience or witness different crimes, including hate crime. We offer support regardless of whether the crime has been reported to the police, or when the incident occurred.

If a young person has been affected by crime, they can call our local victim care team in Warwickshire on 01926 682 693. Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-5pm on Saturdays. If you need support outside of our open hours, call our Supportline for free on 08081 689 111.

We also have a number of school initiatives that we offer throughout Warwickshire where we go into schools and do assemblies and workshops to raise awareness around topics including: Hate Crime, Anti-Bullying and Cybercrime. We are also happy to approach other topics when requested.

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Don't be afraid, speak up - silence hides hate

report hate now