When you witness racism in the street, your workplace, or at school, it can be hard to know what to do and who to talk to about it. Calling out racist behaviour is important, as is helping someone in need, but so is making sure you remain safe in a situation. This super quick list will help you know who to go to when you see it, and how to support someone who is experiencing it. 

Quick Steps to Intervening in Racism or Hate Crime

  1. Assess the situation for safety for you and the person being harassed
  2. If the perpetrator is being violent, you should put your safety first. If you think you or the person being harassed could be in physical danger, immediately call the police
  3. If you feel it is safe to intervene, go to the person being harassed and try to remove them
  4. Ensure that they are OK, and try to get them to safer space away from the harassment
  5. Don’t get aggressive towards the perpetrator as this could make the situation worse
  6. Report what you saw to the police if it was in a public space
  7. If it was work, go to a manager or if that’s not possible, go to HR
  8. If it was at school, report it to a teacher that you trust
  9. If the person being harassed doesn’t want to take it further after you have reported it and they have been spoken to, then you shouldn’t push them to
  10. Take care of yourself after the incident, and seek additional emotional support if you feel you need it. 

You can find out everything you need to know about the #StopAsianHate movement on our hub by clicking below. 

Contacts and Further Support

End the Virus of Racism

An organisation set up in the wake of the rising tide of hate crimes and racist abuse towards ESEA during the Coronavirus pandemic 

Ditch the Label 

If you see racist abuse online, specifically within social media spaces, you can report it to us, and we will get it removed. 

Stop-Hate UK

They gather reports online and you can report any hate crime or racist incident to them.


This is where you can report specific instance of anti-semitism, and is an organisation designed to protect Jewish communities. 

Tell MAMA 

With MAMA, you can report hate crime and racism that is specifically anti-muslim.

You can also report incidents via the True Vision website here report-it.org.uk

To report an incident to the police by phone, call 101.

Relay UK – if you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 101

You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.

If it’s an emergency, where you feel you or someone else is in immediate danger from harm,  you should always call 999.

Want to learn more?

This article is part of our #StopAsianHate series in partnership with ASOS. Visit our hub for more info, tools, tips and ways to take a stand against Asian hate.

what is online hatespeech

Every single person who uses the internet is vulnerable to cyberbullying, trolling and online abuse. Whether you are an Instagram extraordinaire, a fan of Twitter or a Snapchat pro – it could happen to anyone at any time and celebrities are far from immune. In fact, it seems as though the more followers you have, the more likely you are to be trolled.

Where social media, on the one hand, gives us the opportunity to voice our opinions on anything from politics to pan-frying a sea bass, it also gives people with a nasty agenda a chance to voice hateful thoughts and ideologies.

So, What is Hate Speech?

Hate speech is when somebody says, writes or shares something which attacks a person or group of people on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. Much like hate crime, it specifically targets people who are of a certain group.

For example, if you’re being directly messaged by someone who is saying nasty things about your appearance or hobbies but not specifically about your race/religion/sexuality or ability – that’s not considered hate speech, it comes under the umbrella of bullying or online abuse.

Unfortunately, in today’s political climate, hate speech is not uncommon. all too often we’re seeing people spouting some rather questionable views very publicly online or purposely targetting individuals who don’t conform to specific expectations or views.

Nobody deserves to be targeted in this way – the internet is a space for everyone and nobody or group of people should feel marginalised, intimidated or isolated. If you’re being targetted with hate speech, always remember that it is never a problem with you, the problem always lies with the perpetrator.

What does the Law say?

Well, it’s a bit of a grey area, different countries and regions have different stances on the illegality of hate speech.

In the UK for example, it’s an offence to incite hatred based on a person’s race, religion, sexuality or disability. It is not, however, an offence to stir up hate about a person’s gender or identity.

Where does it happen?

Hate speech takes place both on and offline. Hate speech online, however, is far more public so naturally, you’d think it could be policed better than it currently is.

New technologies emerge all the time that attempt to quell the tide of horrible words that come flooding in online. Many networks have a reporting system and some are even monitored, but it’s simply not enough to keep up the ever-changing nature of language and online behaviour.

What about celebrities?

There have, of course, been several high profile cases of online hate speech – Michelle Obama springs to mind. The former American First Lady received endless online abuse throughout her husband’s presidency; some of it personal, some of it targeting her race, her religion and her nationality. It was ruthless but one thing’s for sure, the people trolling her would probably never have said it to her face.

Celebrities and those with large social followings are often in the firing line for hate speech and some have spoken out about it. Others say that it comes with the territory of being very active on social media.

Whatever your view, no one deserves to be on the receiving end of hate speech, online abuse or trolling of any kind – if you see it, report it. If you’re experiencing online abuse, read this for more information on what to do.

Don’t be a Bystander…

Is it ok to troll a ‘troll’?

The answer is no. If you see someone sharing hate speech online, don’t engage – by opening up a discussion with them you give them a platform to incite more hatred. By trolling them back you’re reciprocating their behaviour. The best way to deal with someone who is being nasty online is to disengage and report. Again, if that person is sharing hate speech, report it. Here’s some more info on reporting online abuse or hate speech. If you see something, report it.

Click on the images below to find out specific information on reporting online abuse and hate speech on social networks:

Want to talk it through first?

If you’re being targeted, talk to a Ditch the Label digital mentor for more specific advice and help on what to do next.

Join the community today, we’re here for you.

what to do if you're experiencing racism

Our research found that 34% of young people reported being bullied for prejudice based reasons.

Racism is a hate-crime; it is illegal to treat someone differently because of attitudes towards their race, religion, nationality or culture. Unfortunately we can’t identify the exact reason why somebody decides to act in a racist manner – racism, like a lot of other prejudice-based hate, is a learnt behaviour.

No-one is born with the ability to read or sing a song, nor are we born with the ability to discriminate against someone because of where they were born or the colour of their skin.

People who are racist, normally feel threatened or intimidated by a culture or race that is not well-known to them or that they have limited understanding of. Unfortunately, instead of taking the time to understand or embrace that difference, they act negatively towards the unknown.

Is it Racism?

People experience racism in many forms; including physical attacks, verbal abuse, damage to your property, racist jokes, threats and cyber-bullying (this could be via email or social media). If someone is making you feel uncomfortable – It is your right to report it.

Some people find it hard to determine whether or not they are experiencing racism, as everybody has a different threshold of what they consider to be bullying; to help clarify – the police define hate crime as:

‘Any incident, which constitutes a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate.’

If you are experiencing racism, it can be incredibly difficult to know what steps to take next, so DTL compiled 6 tips to help guide you through the process. If you are experiencing racism and need any help or advice, or just someone to talk to – do not hesitate to reach out to Ditch the Label – join the community today.

1. Don’t see yourself as the problem

Know that what you are experiencing is in no way your fault – never blame yourself for what is happening to you. Always remember the person bullying you is the one with the issue, not you. You are not being targeted because of your race, it is because of the attitude towards this factor. The only thing that needs changing is their attitude – you are perfect as you are ❤️. 

2. Speak to them

If you feel it is a safe and appropriate action to take, try talking to the person who is being racist. Remember to challenge the behaviour, not the person – instead of accusing the person of being a racist, explain that their behaviour or words are racist and have caused you distress – explain that it’s not ok to say those things.

It might be appropriate to request that a teacher or responsible adult hosts a mediation between you and the person who is being racist. A mediation can be scary but is often incredibly powerful; it is essentially a face-to-face conversation between you and the person bullying you in a controlled, equal environment.

If this is something you are considering, read this first.

what to do if you're experiencing racism, girl, in seat, black and white image

3. Report it

If you are experiencing racism from somebody you go to school or college with, report it to a teacher immediately. If somebody is threatening you, giving out your personal information or making you fear for your safety, contact the police or an adult immediately. It is important that you tell someone that this is going on.

4. Walk away

Whether you experience a micro-aggression or a more blatant form of racial hostility, make sure you are first and foremost, aware of your safety; you are under no obligation to have to respond to this kind of behaviour and can choose to walk away at any time. However, if you feel it is appropriate to speak with them or call out their behaviour, see point 2.

5. Get support

It is extremely stressful, and can be emotionally draining and taxing to endure racism. This stress can have impact on all areas of your life, including your mental wellbeing, ability to communicate with others, performance in school and self-esteem.

It is therefore incredibly important to tell somebody that you trust about what you are going through; it doesn’t even have to be an adult – it could be a friend or somebody at Ditch the Label.

We also have a really simple exercise available on our website called Stress Reprogramming which you can do either alone or with somebody else in around 30 minutes. The exercise will help you see stress differently and hopefully help you on your journey forward.

6. Look after yourself 

It is important during this time, that you take good care of your mental wellbeing. As well as finding a support system, you need to make sure you are looking out for yourself too.

Little things like eating a balanced diet, working out, getting a good night’s sleep, relaxing and having quality time with friends and family can really improve your physical and mental health, which will in turn, reduce stress. Reductions in stress increase your clarity of vision, allowing you to clearly analyse difficult situations, which will make them much easier to deal with.

If you feel you need further support, it is important that you seek emotional and mental support from your GP, a therapist or counsellor.

Join the Ditch the Label community to see what others have to say about their experiences and have your say in a safe and equal environment – we want to hear from you! 😍