California vs Hate – the state’s first-ever multilingual statewide hotline and online portal the provides an anonymous reporting option for victims and witnesses of hate acts – has just wrapped its first year in operation with solid results.

According to the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), the platform has received approximately 1,020 acts of hate reported, and has connected hundreds of Californians to needed resources.

“Advancing the civil rights of all Californians and combatting hate in our communities remains a top priority,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “In California, our diversity is our strength. The CA vs Hate initiative is an important effort to combat hate and extremism in our communities. DOJ remains committed to new and ongoing efforts to combat hate and bias.”

The CA vs Hate initiative is designed for reporting non-emergency hate crimes and incidents. Made up of both a hotline and online portal, the initiative allows for 24/7 reporting and is available in 200 languages.

“CA vs Hate and the Commission on the State of Hate are direct responses to the documented, alarming increase in hate across the country,” said Russell Roybal, chair of Commission on the State of Hate.

“In California, we’ve seen hate crimes spike in recent years, reaching their highest level since the aftermath of 9/11 in 2001,” Roybal said. “The Commission has heard from many communities who do not feel safe reporting hate to law enforcement, which is why CA vs Hate is so critical. Here in California, we’re keeping up the fight to create a state where everyone can feel safe and where everyone can thrive.”

According to data compiled by the University of California, Berkeley’s Possibility Lab, the website had 60,500 visits and the initiative had 2,118 contacts from members of the public seeking assistance – including non-hate related reports – and directed people to resources regardless of whether a report was tied to an act of hate. The initiative demonstrated strong success in getting people to take advantage of additional services with roughly four out of six people agreeing to follow up for care coordination services, including direct and ongoing support accessing legal aid or counseling.

“CA vs Hate plays a critical role in helping to build resilient communities, by receiving reports of hate through their platforms and providing resources to those who have experienced hate incidents,” said Amy E. Lerman, executive director of the University of California’s Possibility Lab. “The Possibility Lab is proud to partner with the CA vs Hate team to strengthen data collection, reporting, and outreach so that we can continue to serve all Californians who are taking action to stop hate.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs