Here’s what to do if you are a victim

Under Colorado law, a hate crime is defined as intimidation or harassment that causes bodily harm or damage to another person or property because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation.

Find Help (Involving Law Enforcement)

  • Report the crime.

    • If you are fearful for your safety, you should call 911 immediately.

    • If you are injured or hurt, you should seek medical assistance.

  • For non-emergency situations, you should call or visit your local police station.

  • Obtain a copy of the police report and request that the report indicate that the incident may have been a hate crime is also advised

  • Those involved in the incident should gather as much information as possible, that may include:

    • Preserving evidence (including text messages, social media posts, emails, etc.)

    • Taking photographs

    • Documenting the experience as soon as possible

    • Recording information about the perpetrator (age, height, distinguishing characteristics, etc.)

    • Obtaining contact information of other victims or witnesses

  • Victims should also consider seeking support through:

Find Help (Not Involving Law Enforcement)

If a victim is hesitant to contact law enforcement, there are a number of ways to offer additional support. Several organizations in Colorado will work with victims to consider advantages and concerns about contacting law enforcement and even support victims directly as they make a report about the crime.

If a victim of a hate crime chooses not to report the crime, both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center collect information on hate crimes, regardless of whether the crime was reported to law enforcement. Pro Publica, a non-profit investigative newsroom, is also collecting and verifying reports of hate crimes and bias incidents.

While working with victim services through law enforcement and district attorneys can provide access to many support systems, there are resources available for victims of hate crimes even if they choose not to report them. These include, but are not limited to, health and mental health services, trauma support, translation services, case management and legal guidance—even if filing criminal charges is not the end goal.