Victim perception

The perception of the victim or any other person is the defining factor in determining a hate incident. The apparent lack of motivation as the cause of an incident is not relevant as it is the perception of the victim or any other person that counts. The prejudice or hate perceived can be based on any identifying factor including disability, age, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity and race. A victim of a hate incident does not have to be a member of a minority group or someone who is generally considered to be vulnerable. For example, a heterosexual man who is verbally abused leaving a gay bar may well perceive that it is motivated by homophobia although he himself is not gay. Therefore effectively anyone can be the victim of a hate incident. The deciding factor lies in the perception of the victim or any other person.