The experience of racist victimisation

Kusminder Chahal and Louis Julienne

“We can’t all be white!” relates the experience of racist harassment from 74 people in four cities across the UK.

Policies and procedures to combat harassment on housing estates have often stressed the importance of establishing the ‘victim’s perspective’, but rarely have such voices been heard. This study includes extensive extracts from interviews with people who have experienced racist harassment, to reveal its impact on people’s day-to-day lives.

It highlights that the consequences of racist harassment go beyond the actual racist events, and impinge on and influence many other aspects of daily life. There is an evident gap between the policies and procedures developed to challenge racist harassment, and the experiences articulated by those being victimised. There is limited support to help those making complaints, and limited advice and referrals to other agencies.

The authors conclude that policies and procedures need to be re-evaluated to fit with the expectations of people experiencing racist victimisation and its impact on ordinary lives. There is a need to establish new ways of providing support to those who request it.