Hate Crimes and How to Report Them


What is a hate crime?

Any crime motivated by hostility/bias to the victim due to personal characteristics of a protected class.

What is a protected class?

Any group that has special protection under the law, such as:

  • Sex
  • Gender Identity
  • Gender Expression
  • Pregnancy
  • Familial Status
  • Veteran Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Age
  • Citizenship
  • Disability Status
  • Religion

How to report a hate crime

If you want to pursue legal action, then please report to a law enforcement agency and continue reading. If you do not want to pursue legal action and/or prefer to remain anonymous while still having your incident included in national hate crime statistics, then please use the Matthew Shepard Reporting Survey.

Write down as many details about the crime as soon as possible after the incident.

  • Include distinguishing characteristics of the perpetrator[s] gender, age, height, race, weight, and clothes to help to investigate law enforcement later on.
  • If any threats or biased comments were made (such as anti-gay or anti-trans slurs), include them in your notes.

File a report with the local police. Find Your Local Police Dept.

  • Get the responding officer's name and badge number.
  • Urge the officer to check the “hate/bias-motivation” or “hate crime/incident” box on the police report.
  • Make sure the officer files an incident report form and assigns a case number. If a police report is not taken at the time of your report, go to the police station and ask for one.
  • Get your own copy, even of the preliminary report.

If you feel unsafe going to the local police then file a report with your General Attorney's Office or local FBI Field Office. Muslim Advocates compiled a list for all 50 state. Find Offices

How to find support after a hate crime

Whether you are going through a reporting process or not, it is still important to reach out for support in the aftermath of a hate crime. Thankfully there are many resources out there for you.

Reach out to friends and family if you are able to and comfortable.

Get professional help from an LGBTQ affirmative therapist. Out Boulder has a list for you: LGBTQ Affirming Counseling and Psychological Health Services.

Contact an anti-violence support service:


Find Local Police Department
Report Anonymously
Find FBI and Attorney General's Offices