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Since taking on the role of hate crime co-ordinator, I have been looking at new ways to build awareness of hate crime across the Bradford district. Posters and leaflets can be very useful tools of communication, but it is important to bear in mind that, for some people, they aren’t always accessible.

For example, if someone is the victim of a sexual orientation hate crime, yet they are not ‘out’ to their family, friends, or community, then they may not want to carry around a leaflet on hate crime, fearful of the stigma surrounding what has happened to them, or that this could lead to others discovering the truth about their sexuality. This is one of many barriers that can isolate victims and prevent them from accessing the vital information they need. It’s important, therefore, that we find alternative solutions.

One such solution was to explore the use of online media communication. A podcast of our own, where people can find out about hate crime reporting, learn about their rights as victims of hate crime and be empowered by the sharing of lived experiences from others, encouraging people to come forward in the knowledge that they will be believed and treated with respect, seemed like a perfect solution.

And so, “A Series of Difficult Conversations” was born, recognising how hard it can be for many people to talk about their experiences or come forward to report them; these can indeed be difficult conversations. Our podcast is a perfect example of material that can be accessed anonymously without fear of reprisal.

It’s also convenient. Like many people these days, I often find myself multi-tasking where possible, to save time. I don’t always have the luxury of an hour or so to set aside for some educational reading!

Listening to a podcast during a work commute or even while walking the dog is a perfect solution. We hope that, in time, our podcast will grow, and our listeners will find it a valuable resource of information and inspiration to come forward and report the crimes they are suffering. No one deserves to be treated differently because of who they are, and we believe our podcast can empower people to believe that.

Click on the PODCAST link to listen