KNOW YOUR RIGHTS - KNOW THE LAWS
A number of federal and state laws prohibit acts or threats of violence, as well as harrassment and discrimination, based on race, color, religion, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability.
Massachusetts law, hate/bias crimes are crimes motivated by hatred
against a person or group on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual
orientation, disability or ethnic/national origin. Hate or bias crime encompasses not only violence against individuals or groups, but also crimes against property, such as arson or vandalism, particularly those directed against community centers or houses of worship.
Hostile or hateful speech, or other disrespectful or discriminatory behavior
may or may not be a crime.
Hate crimes can occur in any of the following ways:
* A physical attack (assault and battery, as well as other violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter and rape); or
* Intimidating or threatening behavior putting a person in fear of immediate physical harm (assault, threats to commit certain crimes); or
* Damage to property (arson, vandalism)
CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND HATE CRIMES ARE SERIOUS CRIMES!
We all have important roles to play in responding to civil rights violations and hate crimes.
These crimes cannot be investigated or prosecuted unless they are reported to law enforcement agencies.
*Support efforts in your community to promote diversity and tolerance.
* Help establish positive civil rights and hate crime prevention and response strategies in your neighborhood, school or community.
* Contact the Norfolk County District Attorney's Prevention and Outreach Unit at (617) 984-5600 (ext. 102) or (781) 830-4800 (ext.388).
Working with a host of resources agencies and service providers, they
provide community education programs, activities, curricular and other
The Massachusetts Civil Rights Act permits the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General to obtain a court order (injunction) ordering an individual to refrain from certain conduct or activities.
Violation of an injunction is a criminal offense. For more information on your right to file a civil complaint seeking an injunction, contact:
Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General,
Civil Rights Division,
One Ashburton Place,
Boston Ma 02108