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As anti-Asian hate crimes increase, new tool lets you report them anonymously

In response to the increase in hate crimes and harassment of Asians and Asian Americans, a national advocacy group has launched an online tool to allow people to report incidents of violence or harassment in 29 languages.

The aim is to collect data to better assess the impact of anti-Asian violence at the national level to help inform policy makers and community leaders and to aid in the development of legislation.

Joon Bang, former president and CEO of the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA), said the tool was also designed to raise the voices of older members of AAPI communities.

It is not always easy for older people in Asian American Pacific Islander Communities (AAPI) to report hate incidents, he said. “When you listen to our old people, they come from a place of humility, so they often say, ‘I don’t want you to spend time or worry about what’s happening to me,’” Bang said. .

It is common, he added, for older immigrant members of AAPI communities to feel cautious about sharing information. “A lot of our seniors are afraid that if they speak up or share information about what they’ve been through, it could be used against them down the line,” Bang said.

In an effort to protect their security and privacy, a feature of the online reporting form is a commitment to keep the submitted information private.

The tool comes at a time when the nonprofit Orange County Human Relations Commission released its 2020 hate crimes report which detailed an alarming increase in hate incidents in Orange County.

According to the report released on September 17, there was a 69% increase in the total number of hate incidents reported in 2020 compared to 2019. Of the 263 reported cases, there was a 114% increase in hate incidents anti-Semites, an increase of 1,800%. anti-Asian incidents and a 23% increase in anti-black incidents. The report urges people to report crimes and harassment to local law enforcement.

You can also report incidents using the NAPCA tool.

How it works?

On the home page of the NAPCA website, you can choose a language and then click on the “report hate” button.

The next step is to fill out a form that asks for the name of the victim, which is optional; when and where the incident happened; what type of incident it was; if this has been reported to the police; and information about the person submitting the report.

Identifying yourself is optional, and NAPCA has stated that all personal information will be kept private.

Three in five AAPI adults have faced discrimination at the height of the pandemic, according to a national survey conducted by NAPCA and its community partners in March.

Bang said the number of attacks on Asians would be vastly underreported. And the report found that language barriers and a cultural reluctance to report crimes made data collection inconsistent.

The goal of the anonymous reporting tool is to improve data collection.

It also provides policy makers and community leaders with disaggregated data, which Bang says is missing from existing reports.

“Because what affects the Chinese community may be different from the Vietnamese community or the Cambodian community,” he said.

It’s also about giving communities a voice, said Bang.

“Language is more than a tool. Language is ultimately about power, ”he said.

Beyond the declaration form

If you need help beyond the report form, NAPCA has created a live helpline – available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in eight languages: English, Japanese, Cantonese, Tagalog, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Korean and Spanish. Visit their website which lists specific phone numbers for each language.

If you are a witness to an incident, here are some ways you can intervene effectively and be an ally.

Distract. Interrupt the incident and indirectly derail the attacker. One method is to make conversation. Approach the target person and start talking about something unrelated. Another method is to create a small distraction like dropping something on the floor.

To delegate. If you do not feel safe to intervene, you can help by documenting the incident discreetly.

Delay. You may not feel safe to step in until the attacker moves on. Once this happens, you can always help by checking in with the victim. Express your solidarity and let them know what happened was not correct and you want to check in.

Direct. Only do this if you feel safe and comfortable talking. This is the riskiest answer because you cannot know how the abuser will react. If you feel safe, say something like “Leave them alone” or “This is inappropriate / racist / disrespectful / not acceptable”. Keep it short and don’t get into a discussion or argument.

Another method of helping your neighbors, friends and members of the AAPI community is to practice solidarity which can take the form of uncomfortable conversations or identifying when it is useful to stand up and when it is best to take a step back.

Times Associate Editors Jessica Roy and Ada Tseng contributed to this report.