Today, I was reflecting over the news of yet more prejudice and discrimination in our world. Why do people choose to hate, when they could simply choose to be kind?
This reminded me of a former role I had, in my career. In 2003, I worked in a role that supported Victims of Hate Crime. My counselling and psychotherapy skills were used to support men and women who had been targeted by abuse and violence due to being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or other similar defined status. I also supported those who had been targeted by prejudice and abuse due to having the status of being HIV+ or diagnosed with AIDS.
My work was challenging and often heart-breaking; knowing that some people felt that it was acceptable to inflict insult and / or injury to another person. These attacks not only affected the person targeted, but also affected their families, friends, neighbours and colleagues. I am pleased to say, however, that these incidents actually brought more people together in unity, than any amount of division that the perpetrators sought to create.
During my time in that role; which grew to support those affected by Domestic Violence/Abuse, Rape and Male Rape, Racial Harassment, Disability Harassment and Gender based crimes.
I was interviewed about my role, in particular around the LGBTQ targeted hate crimes; as this new service was one of he first to be funded to support Victims from these communities. My opinion is that no matter what views people hold, nobody has the right to inflict hurt or suffering on any child or adult.
The interview went to Press in January 2003:
I was then invited to write an article for the newspaper, in June 2003. My article can be seen, below, entitled ‘All Deserve a Life Without Fear.’
I went on to represent Croydon Council at the Association for London Government; where I helped consult on Legislation aimed at supporting anyone targeted by prejudice and discrimination through verbal abuse, bullying or violence and to contribute to forming Policy within Croydon Council on this subject.
Years later, in Suffolk, I worked as a Commissioning Manager within the Chief Executive’s Unit at Suffolk County Council and also as a Specialist Services Team Leader in NHS Suffolk where, in both roles, I was able to contribute towards Policy development and the development of both medical and psychotherapeutic treatment services that support victims of Hate Crimes, Domestic Violence/Abuse and Sexual Crimes.
(C) Dean Parsons.