Discriminatory Abuse

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment or harassment towards different categories of people including race, gender and gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Race, gender, disability etc. are known as ‘protected characteristics’. The list below shows different forms of discrimination towards people because of their protected characteristics.

  • Direct discrimination – treating someone less favourably than others
  • Indirect discrimination – putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that puts someone at an unfair disadvantage
  • Harassment – unwanted behaviour that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
  • Victimisation – treating someone unfairly because they have complained about discrimination or harassment.

Crimes committed against people because of their protected characteristics should be reported to the police – see further information below.

Spotting the Signs of Discrimination

  • Verbal abuse, derogatory remarks or inappropriate use of language linked to a protected characteristic
  • Acts or comments motivated to harm and damage, including inciting others to commit abusive acts
  • Harassment or deliberate exclusion on the grounds of a protected characteristic
  • Sub-standard service provision relating to a protected characteristic
  • Denying access to communication aids, or not allowing access to an interpreter, signer or lipreader
  • The person appears withdrawn and isolated
  • Expressions of anger, frustration, fear or anxiety
  • An adult making complaints about the service not meeting their need

What is Hate Crime?Stop Hate

Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police. Hate crimes can include:

  • Threatening behaviour
  • Assault
  • Robbery
  • Damage to property
  • Inciting others to commit hate crimes
  • Harassment

Call 999 if you’re reporting a crime that is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. If the crime isn’t an emergency, call 101. You can also report hate crime online.

What is Mate Crime?

Mate crimes happen when people with learning disabilities are befriended by someone who uses the relationship to exploit or abuse them.

For example, they might take over a person’s flat and treat it as their flat, or they might ‘borrow’ money or things which they never give back. This can also be linked to a form of exploitation known as Cuckooing.


If you think you have been unfairly discriminated against you can complain directly to the person or organisation or it may be something that can be dealt with by your local adult social care service – Report Abuse.

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