Sumayya, the Attitudes and Hate Crime project co-ordinator, has written a blog post about how the Attitudes and Hate Crime project is progressing as it nears operation.
“Here at BuDS, we are all too aware of how often people can be subjected to hate and abuse because of their disability. We are also sadly all too aware that for those who choose to report such abuse, the process can be arduous, convoluted and disheartening.
For this reason, we have been working on setting up a project to support those who may find themselves in such a situation. I am very excited to be co-leading the initiative with Rio, a fellow volunteer.
Our Attitudes and Hate Crime initiative will offer two routes of support:
- For those looking for a sympathetic ear, we will provide a listening service where users will be matched with supporters whom they can chat to. Supporters will also be able to direct users to information about other resources or next steps, if this is asked for.
- For service users who would like to report a crime, supporters will work with them to explain the process and help them through it.
In sharing these details here, we have deliberately split out the two offerings to emphasise that the service is available to anyone who has experienced disability-related hate or abuse: we will be ready to provide a listening service, regardless of whether users wish to report the crime they are speaking about; and equally, we will respect that many may only wish for support through the reporting process without using the listening service.
It is relatively early days and we are working hard to get to the point where we can get this service ready for those who need it. Watch this space and in the meantime, if you would like to volunteer or even if you have any thoughts on what we can do to make this service the best it can be, please get in touch!”
Sumayya is a former specialist learning disability teacher who took a career change and is now Director, Oncology and Inflammation & Immunology Strategy at the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer. Sumayya lives in Bucks with her partner and young family.