MARION COUNTY — Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears is working to combat hate in Indianapolis by launching a new hate crimes hotline.
The hotline can be reached by dialing 317-327-5314 and provides an opportunity for individuals to report if they have either experienced or witnessed a potential hate crime.
“We want to send a clear message that hate has no place in Indianapolis and Marion County. For those who have experienced a bias-motivated incident, we stand with you,” Mears said. “By providing this hotline and support through a victim advocate, we believe our office can reduce the barriers of reporting and improve law enforcement’s response and support for victims of these crimes.”
In a release sent by the Marion County Prosecutor's office, the hotline is monitored by a trained social worker and victim advocate employed by the prosecutor's office. Once a report is recorded, the victim can choose to file a formal report with law enforcement or be referred to an identity-based community service provider for trauma counseling and other assistance.
The hotline is non-emergent, and all emergencies or immediate threats are encouraged to be reported to 911.
“A big part of this effort is education. We are available to the community to share information about what constitutes a hate crime, why reporting is so important, and how to support victims of these incidents," Mears added.
By definition, a hate crime is a crime committed against someone due to their social identifier. Hate crimes do not only just affect the victim, but it can also impact an entire community who identifies with the victim's racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, or gender identity.
If you or someone you know in Marion County has been the victim of a hate crime or the victim of a hate-based incident, you are urged to report the incident to the Marion County Hate Crimes Hotline.