The Equality and Human Rights Commission have published their inquiry into disability-related harassment. This is what the media call ‘hate crime.’ It is violence perpetrated against vulnerable members of society who are unable to stand up for themselves or have friends or relatives to protect them. The inquiry highlights ten cases where people died or were seriously injured and the EHRC are calling this harassment.
The OED says to harass is ‘To wear out, tire out, or exhaust with fatigue, care, trouble, etc.’ and the act of harassing is to ‘To trouble or vex by repeated attacks.’
Surely crime towards people disabled resulting in serious injury and death is far more than harassment? By diluting the language in this way the EHRC are diluting the effectiveness of the message. This is not harassment; it is aggravated assault and murder and those who have lost their lives and been injured in these dreadful ways deserve much better than this.