My name is Abbie and this is my story.
Previously people have thrown stones at me and my windows, but this time it was a lot more serious. When I came home I noticed something wrong with my windows. At first I thought that they had been smashed, but as I got closer I realised it was a lot worse. They had ripped open all of the bags of wood chippings which I had in my garden and they had put them all over my steps. They had also got bags of flour and spread it all over the steps, the walls of my house and my windows. They had thrown eggs all over my house windows and walls as well as tomato sauce. They had put other food such as pickled onions all over my window and they had emptied bags of rubbish all around my garden. It took me over an hour and a half to clean it up, and as I did I cried.
You never know what it’s like until it happens to you, and let me tell you, it scares the hell out of you. I was shaking for hours after, your mind goes crazy, you’re left thinking are they going to come back? Is it going to happen again? I reported my hate incident to the police, but on other occasions I haven’t, and that’s because I guess I was scared that it was going to bring more trouble to my door. The police response to my most recent hate crime was great, but in this case there was little evidence. Even the police sometimes can’t figure out who the perpetrator is. I didn’t report my other incidents to the police because sometimes I think if I can just ignore it, it will stop. I reported my incident to Hart Gables and they were very helpful. I think sometimes it helps to put your mind at ease when you know that you have someone else to talk to. Not only that but they gave me the information I needed to access the help that I needed.
My advice to anyone is to report your incident, if not to the police then to a third party reporting centre at least, it makes dealing with hate crimes so much easier. The Crime Prevention team were excellent. They came to my home and assessed the situation, and afterwards they modified my home so I felt safer. Overall my experience of hate crime was truly awful, and it caused me more pain than I can describe, but what made my experience that much easier was the help of services like Hart Gables, the Crime Prevention team and of course Cleveland Police.
My final piece of advice is if you ever become a victim of hate crime, please stay strong, and let the services we have in our area help you when they can. My life has changed since this happened to me. I don’t sit out on my front any more, and I am very wary when I come home from being out, but at least I know that I have a support system, and I have services in my area that will be able to help me if I need them.
Posted on Thursday 15th October 2015