Hate Crime

Mount Holyoke College  | Smith College

What is a Hate Crime?

An offense to a person or property, intimidating that person because of his or her race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin.

Hate crimes encompasses not only violence against people or groups, but also crimes against property, like arson or vandalism, particularly those directed against community centers or houses of worship.

Hate crimes can occur in any of the following ways:

  • Intimidating or threatening behavior putting a person in fear of imminent physical harm (assault, threats to commit certain crimes); or
  • A physical attack (assault and battery, as well as other violent crimes such as murder, manslaughter, and rape); or
  • Damage to property (arson, vandalism)

What is a Bias Incident?

A bias incident is not a crime. It is a situation in which a person has been subjected to harassment due to dislike or hatred of a certain group of people. Although not a crime, it is important to report bias incident to the Campus Police Department.

Targeted Individual

The person or group against whom a bias incident or hate crime is directed this may or may not be the same as the reporting party. We recommend using one of these terms rather than ‘victim’.

Mount Holyoke College Hate Crime Policy


Smith College Hate Crime Policy