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Transgender woman finds hateful message written outside her home

Says Indiana needs hate crime law
Posted at 9:22 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 21:22:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A transgender woman is pushing for tougher hate crime laws after someone left a hateful message written on the ground outside of her home.

Abby Paden says she hasn't felt comfortable in her own home since she found the message written in chalk on the cement next to her truck on Wednesday. 

"I didn't really know how to feel when I saw it, " said Paden. "I think for the first time in my life, I felt unsafe."

She says she called police and told them who she thought might have been responsible, but all they could do was file a report, because they couldn't 'prove' who had written the message. 

And Paden, who moved back to Indy just two months ago, isn't the only one facing this type of issue. Kit Malone with Freedom Indiana says that's common response from police, and it would likely change if Indiana had a hate crime law in place that would increase the penalty for these types of crimes. 

“That allows us to bring a complaint when people are specifically targeting us based on something we can’t change,” said Malone.

Senator Greg Taylor tells RTV6 that he’s pushing new protections in the upcoming legislative session. He said not having them discourages police from digging deeper into cases like this and filing charges, such as harassment or intimidation.

 “It’s scary, but this is where I was born, this is my state,” said Paden. “I came back to be near my kids and my support base and I am not leaving… I am not leaving.”