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Bias-Motivated/Hate Crime

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Description

The Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. § 534) defines hate crimes as “crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures crimes perceived by victims to be motivated by an offender’s bias against them for belonging to or being associated with a group largely identified by these characteristics. For a crime to be classified as a hate crime in the NCVS, the victim must report at least one of three types of evidence that the act was motivated by hate: (1) the offender used hate language, (2) the offender left behind hate symbols, or (3) police investigators confirmed that the incident was hate crime.

Terms & Definitions

Hate crime victimization

Refers to a single victim or household that experienced a criminal incident believed by the victim to be motivated by prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. BJS's National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Hate Crime Statistics Program are the principal sources of annual information on hate crime in the United States and use the definition of hate crime provided in the Hate Crime Statistics Act (28 U.S.C. § 534).