"It was the worst thing that I've ever seen": Victims of hate crime in Northampton share experiences of disgusting abuse
Two people who have been abused for who they are in Northampton have shared their experiences to mark national Hate Crime Awareness Week this week.
African Muslim mother Ayan was spat at and called a terrorist in a racist tirade while trying to park her car with her children in the back.
While Sami was verbally abused for being transgender by a group of men who recorded the incident on their mobile phones.
The pair hope to raise awareness of hate crime and highlight the impact it has on victims in the videos released by Northamptonshire Police.
Ayan said: "I don't want this hate crime to go around between us as we are a loving, lovely community and let's share the love rather than hate."
Ayan was just waiting for a space in a car park in the town centre when a man punched her window, so she opened it and he spat in her face.
He then started shouting and screaming racist remarks at her: "All the worst words you can ever imagine."
She tried to calm him down, asking him to stop as her children were in the back seats of her car, but he refused until he walked back to his car and drove off.
"It was the worst thing that I've ever seen. To punch my car and spit in my face, I was not expecting any of this and I could see his frustration that if I got out, he might have done more," she said.
Sami was near All Saints Church in November last year when a group of men passed her in a car, but then came back and started abusing her.
"They were shouting some language that actually might have been more offensive to other people that were around me than me," she said.
Sami said she was not happy with how she reacted by shouting back at them but she was less confident back then - she now feels sympathy for her attackers.
"Many of those making the most noise, they're the ones that are most in fear, and quite often they're just trying to prove something," she said.
When asked what advice she would give to hate crime victims, Sami recommended writing down or recording their feelings or talk to someone to 'get it out'.
A third video was also recorded by police about Richard, who was born with Down’s syndrome, who shared his experience alongside his mother, Rachel, of moving into a new home and being targeted for his disability.
The theme of this year’s Hate Crime Awareness Week is ‘hope’, which is being shared in Northamptonshire through a series of events to raise awareness of hate crime, explain what it is and how it is being tackled, and encourage people to report it.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: “It’s really important to me, and to our communities, that we take as much positive action as we can to tackle hate crime by providing support to victims and to help find and prosecute those responsible.
“There’s no place in society for prejudice, and there’s no place for hatred. As a Force we will push hard to root out all forms of prejudice and hate, working with partners and residents to support and create inclusive communities. I’m proud to take part in National Hate Crime Awareness Week and to continue to promote the work we do in the communities we serve.
“I would like to reiterate to the public, incidents of hate crime should not, and will not, be tolerated, and I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to come forward and report it.”
Hate crime and hate incidents can be reported to:
Police - 101 or 999 in an emergency
True Vision - report-it.org.uk
Any local council
Support is available for victims of hate crime via;
Voice – 0300 303 1965
Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council – 01604 400808
Northampton Interfaith Forum - 07757 020346
Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire - 01604 637522
Disability Resource Centre Bedfordshire - 01582 470 900
Find more information on hate crime and hate incidents here.