Hate or bias incident

Experiencing or witnessing, a hate crime or bias/hate-motivated act can be very scary and distressing. Please know that there are support and reporting options available to you.

On this page, you can jump to:

Related topics


Resource available for all

The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD)

Anyone who experienced or witnessed a hate and bias incident is encouraged to make a report to the OPHD.

The UC Systemwide intolerance report form(link is external) may also be used to report.

Resource available for all

University of California Police Department (UCPD)

In an emergency, please call 9-1-1 or contact UCPD if you are on campus.

To report a hate crime, please contact local law enforcement. At UC Berkeley, the local law enforcement agency is the University of California Police Department (UCPD): 

The California Attorney General website(link is external) provides more about the definition of a hate crime, how to spot hate crimes, information for victims, and more. 

If you are the target of a hate/bias incident or hate crime

We understand that experiencing, or witnessing, a hate crime or hate-motivated act can be very difficult and distressing; we encourage you to take care of yourself. If you are affected by a hate crime or hate/bias incident, please consider taking the following actions:

    • Make sure you are safe. Get to a safe location such as a public place, a police station or a friend’s home to secure yourself against further harm. To practice ongoing safety: walk with friends when going places, walk in well-lit areas at night where there are people around, and make sure your phone number isn’t listed publically. You may also consider filing for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).

    • Get medical attention if necessary. If you need immediate assistance, call 911. We encourage you go to a hospital and receive medical attention as soon as possible if you have been a victim of a physical attack as it is possible that the doctor may discover injuries that are not visible.
      • If you have experienced sexual assault or any other form of sexual violence, the PATH to Care Center is the campus designated confidential resource for survivor support and advocacy. For urgent, 24/7 support, please call the Care Line at 510-643-2005. 
    • Preserve evidence. Collecting evidence can help if you choose to report. This can mean taking photographs, writing down what was said to you and any other details, saving written or electronic messages, trying to get contact information for any witnesses.
    • Take care of yourself. Talk to a friend, family member, or someone you trust; write in a journal; practice art or music; engage in a spiritual or religious practice; or take care of your body through exercise, rest and good nutrition. Many supportive resources are listed on this page.
    • Report the incident. Reporting information is on this page. It's okay if you're not sure where to start. Any office can help you figure out your options. 
    • Do not blame yourself. You do not, and did not, deserve to be targeted.

Supportive resources

Mental health resources

  • Students may receive mental health support at Counseling and Psychological Services (link is external)(CAPS) within University Health Services (UHS). 
  • Students with urgent needs should call (510) 642-9494 to speak with a counselor from Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
  • If you need to speak with a counselor urgently when UHS is closed, please call the 24/7 counseling line at (855) 817-5667. 
  • Be Well at Work - Employee Assistance(link is external) provides no-cost confidential counseling and referral for UC Berkeley faculty, staff, visiting scholars, and postdocs. It is also the employee assistance program for the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
  • Visit the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students’ Well-Being resource, which provides more information about holistic wellness resources across campus. To discover additional resources or share questions and concerns, reach out to deanofstudents@berkeley.edu.

Support for survivors of sexual violence

The PATH to Care Center(link is external) is the dedicated campus office offering confidential advocacy and healing services for anyone who has been impacted directly or indirectly by sexual violence or sexual harassment (SVSH).

  • For urgent 24/7 support, please call the Care Line at 510-643-2005. 
  • To schedule an appointment or ask general questions, please call the office at 510-642-1988 or email pathtocare@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail).

For additional information and resources, including counseling and off-campus organizations, please visit the campus Addressing SVSH "Hub" website(link is external).

Requests for flexibility

Several campus offices, including OPHD, can assist you in requesting flexibility in your classes or work. 

Academic Accommodations Hub: Should you be grappling with the impacts of this event, we encourage you to explore academic flexibility in consultation with your instructors.

Other support

National advocacy organizations

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs: The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) addresses the pervasive problem of violence committed against and within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities.

Southern Poverty Law Center: The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force: The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement.

Stop AAPI HateStop AAPI Hate is a U.S.-based coalition dedicated to ending racism and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAs & PIs).

Frequently asked questions

What is a hate crime?

hate crime is a crime motivated, in whole or in part, by the victim's actual or perceived characteristics of the victim. According to the California Attorney General, a person may be the victim of a hate crime if they have been targeted because of your actual or perceived: (1) disability, (2) gender, (3) nationality, (4) race or ethnicity, (5) religion, (6) sexual orientation, and (7) association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

What is a hate or bias incident?

According to the California Attorney General, "a hate incident is an action or behavior motivated by hate but which, for one or more reasons, is not a crime.

A hate or bias incident includes non-criminal conduct that is motivated by hatred or bigotry and directed at any individual, residence, house of worship, institution, or business expressly because of the target’s real or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.

What is hate speech and is it protected by the First Amendment?

According to the UC Berkeley Free Speech website, "the term 'hate speech' does not have a legal definition in the United States, but it often refers to speech that insults or demeans a person or group of people on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or gender. While the university condemns speech of this kind, there is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment."

Hateful speech has extremely damaging affects on individuals and communities. Everyone in the campus community is urged to uphold our campus Principles of Community by treating others with dignity and respect.

Please visit the UC Berkeley Free Speech website for information and resources regarding free speech and upholding the campus Principles of Community.

Will the University take action?

UC Berkeley takes reports of discrimination and harassment, including hate or bias incidents, very seriously. The Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) receives reports of harassment and discrimination, provides support to those harmed, and resolving matters either formally or informally. Please contact OPHD for more information. 

Are employees required to report hate/bias incidents?

UC employees (except designated Confidential Resources) have obligations to report what you learn about incidents of violence, abuse, neglect, discrimination and harassment, or other conduct that could be a violation of the law and/or University policy.

If you are a Campus Security Authority (CSA), you are required under the Jeanne Clery Act to report alleged crimes using the online Campus Security Authority (CSA) form. You can find more information on the UC Berkeley Clery Division website.

For more information about these reporting requirements, please refer to the Understanding Reporting Obligations page of the campus SVSH hub website.