VICTIM SUPPORT & ADVOCACY
If you or someone you know has been a victim of hate-motivated behavior, PCTN can help with a direct response service that includes:
- a compassionate and supportive listener in a confidential and hospitable atmosphere
- direct assistance in making contact with relevant agencies and institutions
- a bridge between the victim and the institution, arranging meetings and accompanying
victims to meetings with school officials, the police, or other authority
- assistance for the victim in stating his/her point of view and advocacy for immediate remedy
as well as a consensual long-term plan to achieve resolution
- mediation with a trained counselor for individuals or families engaged in bias or hate-
- referrals to other needed services
A community that is safe and hospitable, and where everyone is treated with respect, no matter what their differences may be, is a healthy community. The negative effects of hateful and discriminatory behavior are evident:
- Mental distress in many manifestations, depending upon the severity of the actions and the personality and attitude of the victim. Victims may suffer depression and become anxious when in public places. Immobilizing fear isolates them and causes withdrawal from social interactions. Some victims, especially children, internalize put-downs and name-calling, and perceive themselves as inferior or blame themselves for the attacks.
- Continued mental stress is harmful to the body. Appetite and the immune system are
affected. Long-term stress may cause organs to be more vulnerable to disease.
- Physical violence can be inflicted in the worst incidents of intolerance and prejudice.