In response to a rise in hate crimes, Governor Gavin Newsom—along with the California Civil Rights Department — announced the official launch of CA vs Hate, a new multilingual statewide hotline and website that provides a safe, anonymous reporting option for victims and witnesses of hate acts. CA vs Hate is in direct response to the rise in reported hate crimes in California, which in recent years, reached their highest levels since 2001 – jumping almost 33% from 2020 to 2021.
“Here in California, we are sending an unequivocal message that hate will not be tolerated,” said Governor Newsom. “We stand firm for a California for All and it is important that we hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and provide resources for those individuals victimized by hate crimes. Now, Californians have another tool to ensure that not only justice is served, but that individuals have access to additional resources to help deal with the lingering wounds that remain after such a horrendous crime occurs.”
The program is intended to serve communities targeted for hate including Asian Americans, Latinos, Black Americans, LGBTQ+ individuals and religious minorities. The hotline is confidential, and services are provided for free, regardless of immigration status. Hate acts can be reported in 15 different languages through the online portal and in over 200 languages when calling the hotline. The aim is to help people identify options and next steps after a hate incident or hate crime has occurred.
“Most hate crimes are never reported to law enforcement because targeted communities may not feel safe reporting them, may reasonably doubt that law enforcement would respond effectively, or — especially in the case of Black or immigrant communities — may avoid reporting due to distrust of law enforcement, said Rick L. Callender, President of the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference.
“I am hopeful that the California vs. Hate Resource Line, which is not a direct law enforcement reporting line, will tighten up this gap and allow victims to feel safe in coming forward and getting connected with the resources and support they need.”
The hotline will also be complemented by a multilingual outreach campaign, emphasizing community engagement. The campaign aims to support efforts that encourage reporting and access to resources through targeted public service announcements, direct marketing, and other activities. CA vs Hate also seeks to overcome reporting challenges – whether due to fear of retaliation, lack of trust, or other issues – by offering people targeted for hate a community-centered approach that does not require engagement with the criminal legal system.
Said California Attorney General Rob Bonta, “There is no place for hate in California and now more than ever we must stand united against hate and extremism. By utilizing every resource possible, we will raise awareness around the staggering rise in hate crimes and proactively prevent future extremism from occurring. Every Californian deserves to feel safe in their cities and communities and those responsible must be brought to justice.”
Reports can be made to the online portal anonymously by calling (833) 866-4283, or 833-8-NO-HATE, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT or online at any time. For individuals who want to report a hate crime to law enforcement immediately or who are in imminent danger, please call 911. For more information on CA vs Hate, please visit CAvsHate.org.