A hate crime is the victimization of an individual based on that individual's race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender, or sexual orientation.
How does this relate to rape and sexual assault?
While any targeted group can experience rape and sexual assault as a form of hate crime, there are two groups that are often noted for being victims of this particular form of hate crime.
Because a hate crime is an attack on an individual due to his or her identity affiliation (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, etc.), the emotional effects of a rape or sexual assault as a hate crime can be compounded. An individual may not only experience the reactions that often follow a rape or sexual assault, he or she may also suffer from additional effects brought on by the attack of their identity. These reactions can include:
In addition, research has shown that victims of hate crimes are more likely to experience psychological distress such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anger than other victims of other crimes. Therefore, if an individual is a victim of a rape or sexual assault that is a hate crime, he or she is more likely to experience psychological effects that are seen both with hate crimes and rape and sexual assault.
Finally, the recovery time can also be prolonged. Research has shown that it can take as much as five years for victims of hate crimes to overcome the emotional and psychological distress caused by such an attack