The first inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hate Crime warned that rising offences were causing “psychological and emotional harm”.
A report contains testimonies from victims who suffered mental illness, depression and became suicidal, including one who wrote: “Hate crime really destroyed my life. I wanted to commit suicide. It was two years of hell.”
One woman described how the abuse she endured made her “bedridden”, and the parent of a transgender child said she was “fearful about whether I can keep my child and our family safe. I lose sleep, find it hard to cope.”
The APPG was told that many hate crime victims try to avoid abuse by changing their commutes, leaving jobs, not taking public transport, altering their appearance and removing religious clothing.
“They make mention of how the abuse made them feel afraid, even to leave their homes at all,” the report concluded.
The British Transport Police raised the possibility of a link between hate crime and suicide in a submission to the committee, and academics chronicled feelings of vulnerability, anxiety and shame among victims.