Stop Disability Hate

Disabled people have the right to be safe in York, and free from abuse and violence. But disability hate happens. This is when someone hurts you because of your disability or because they think you are disabled. This can be verbally, physically, financially, or emotionally.

York Disability Rights Forum wants action to stop hate crime and hate incidents, to increase reporting and to help disabled people access support.

YDRF’s Stop Disability Hate project aims to:

  • raise awareness of disability hate crime
  • share stories about hate crime experiences
  • enable people to act if they witness hate crime against a disabled person

In our podcast series Olivia and Michayla talk to disabled people in York about disability hate and how it impacts them and the disability community. Listen to our podcasts with Flick, Jennie, Miles, Astrid and Ian. Read Michayla and Olivia‘s reflections on their conversations on this website.

YDRF and York Hate Crime Partnership commissioned research looking at the barriers to the responses of services and organisations when disabled people experience hate crime or incidents. University of York postgraduate law students have produced a research report. We are now part of a group with the City of York Council, North Yorkshire County Council, and North Yorkshire Police to develop an action plan to take forward their recommendations.

Read the research report ‘Stop Disability Hate Crime: a report into the role of third parties in addressing under-reported hate crime in York’ (Word document). A summary will follow in July. For enquiries about the report please email Marije at

ALERT! The students will present their research at the YDRF Annual General Meeting on Thursday 11 July. Members, allies and interested parties are very welcome. More information.

What is disability hate crime?

“Any incident / crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability” (Police and Crown Prosecution Service)

If you are being targeted with crime because of your disability, then this is called a hate crime. If someone hurts you but it is not a crime then it is a hate incident. Hate crime can also happen because of race, religion, sexual orientation and/or gender identity (trans). In York and North Yorkshire the Police also records hate against women (misogyny) and sex workers. 

People may hurt you in different ways: verbally, physically, financially, emotionally. If you ignore it then it may happen again or get worse.

North Yorkshire Police provides more information about hate crime including BSL and Easy Read.

North Yorkshire Disability Forum, Harrogate Mental Health Service User and Carer Involvement Group recorded a video with PC Stuart Henderson, Hate Crime Coordinator for North Yorkshire Police.


Marije represents York Disability Rights Forum on the York Hate Crime partnership run by the Council, and sits on the CPS Yorkshire and Humberside hate crime scrutiny panel.

In April 2022 York CVS and YDRF hosted a Bystander Intervention training for the local voluntary and community sector. Communities Inc’s Stand By Me training covered hate and prejudice and how people can stop hate in a safe way.

We held a public meeting about disability hate crime in October 2021 and were joined by PC Stuart Henderson from North Yorkshire Police and members of York People First. Olivia wrote about the event afterwards for anyone who was unable to attend.

Report a hate incident or crime

In an emergency always dial 999. Deaf people can register for EmergencySMS.

Get support

If someone hurt you because of who you are, it is normal to find it difficult to report an incident, or to feel upset or insecure. Please tell someone you know, they may be able to help you.

In York there are three places where you can get support for dealing with hate incidents or crime:

Bystander intervention

The All About Respect bystander training aims to empower you to become an active bystander and help stop harassment and hate.

Staying safe

Next Door But One offer a free FREE digital package exploring Relationships, Boundaries, Crime and Community Safety. Specifically made with, and for, people with learning disabilities. Watch the trailer to find out more about the package.

Recent Blogs

  • Reflections on About Disability Hate Podcasts: Part 2
    The About Disability Hate podcasts were only made possible thanks to our amazing volunteers Michayla and Olivia. They interviewed disabled people about their insights and experiences of disability hate and wrote blogs. They have shared their reflections on the first year of making the podcasts. Michayla writes: The Stop Disability Hate podcast project has been … Read more
  • Reflections on About Disability Hate Podcasts: Part 1
    The About Disability Hate podcasts were only made possible thanks to our amazing volunteers Michayla and Olivia. They interviewed disabled people about their insights and experiences of disability hate and wrote blogs. They have shared their reflections on the first year of making the podcasts. Olivia writes: This project has been an incredible journey, offering … Read more
  • Changing perceptions
    The fourth episode of the YDRF podcast centres the experiences of Astrid. Olivia and Astrid discuss the matter of perception in disability hate crime, the complex relationship between disability hate and the pandemic, and the value of disabled people sharing their experiences when they are ready to do so.  “If a hate crime has been … Read more
  • Labelling and harm
    In the third episode of YDRF About Disability Hate podcast, Olivia sits down with Miles to talk about disability hate. They discuss the dangers of labelling, especially of people with hidden disabilities, the potential positive impacts of the pandemic, pressures some disabled people feel to justify their disability, and much more.  One recurring idea that … Read more
  • The Silent Side of Disability Hate
    Listen to our Disability Hate Podcast where we talk to Jennie. She’s kindly written a blog post for us as well. What a complicated thing disability hate is to define or understand. Why would one human being hate another due to a disability which creates challenges to them living a good life? What is it … Read more
  • About Disability Hate Podcast: Episode 1
    At YDRF we have launched a new podcast to raise awareness of disabled people’s lived experience of disability hate. In the first episode, recorded in May 2022, Olivia sits down with Flick, a disability rights activist, to discuss her views and experiences of disability hate. They talk about the importance of social model language, Flick’s … Read more
  • Staying safe in York: Disability Hate Crime
    Thanks to Olivia, who has written about our first online event about Disability Hate Crime. York Disability Rights Forum (YDRF) hosted its first online Disability Hate Crime event on Thursday 14th October. Its aim was to raise awareness of hate crime, offer an opportunity to talk about individual experience of it and help people know … Read more
  • Hate Crime Awareness Project
    National Hate Crime Awareness Week runs from 9th to 16th October with the purpose of raising awareness of Hate Crime. York Disability Rights Forum has taken this opportunity to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime. We formed a Hate Crime project several months ago and will be holding an online event during National Hate Crime … Read more
  • Join us to talk about disability hate crime
    Disability hate crime is on the increase As part of Hate Crime Week, join us to find out more about disability hate crime, including how to report it and how you can be an ally to anyone experiencing it. When: 5.30-7pm, Thursday 14th October Where: Online (Zoom) Accessibility: The event will use BSL interpreters and zoom … Read more
  • When two ideals collide
    We’re pleased to welcome volunteers Olivia and Kirsty to York Disability Rights Forum! Olivia has recently graduated with a degree in Criminology at Anglia Ruskin University and is aiming to do an MA in International Criminology in autumn 2022. OIivia and Kirsty are working with York Disability Rights Forum on a disability hate crime project. … Read more